Submitted to: Plant Pathology Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/25/2011
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Light has been implicated as a critical environmental regulator of disease processes in a number of plant pathogenic fungi. Gray leaf spot, caused by Cercospora zeae-maydis, is one of the most widespread and damaging foliar diseases of maize in the world. Many stages of disease development are influenced by light, including growth of the fungus toward stomata on the leaf surface, formation of appressoria that penetrate into the leaf tissues, synthesis of the phytotoxin cercosporin, and formation of asexual spores (conidia). Thus, this host-pathogen interaction affords an excellent system to define the precise molecular mechanisms through which light coordinates the responses. This review incorporates results of recent molecular analyses to provide a contemporary perspective that explains how light influences pathogenesis. Ultimately, such information may augment efforts to manage gray leaf spot by improving host resistance and disease management strategies.
Technical Abstract: The fungal genus Cercospora is one of the most ubiquitous groups of plant pathogenic fungi, and grey leaf spot caused by C. zeae-maydis is one of the most widespread and damaging foliar diseases of maize in the world. Although light has long been implicated as a critical environmental regulator of pathogenesis in C. zeae-maydis, the relationship between light and the development of disease is not fully understood. Recent discoveries have provided new insights into how light influences pathogenesis and morphogenesis in C. zeae-maydis, particularly at the molecular level. This review is focused on integrating old and new information to provide an updated perspective of how light influences pathogenesis, and provides a working model to explain some of the underlying molecular mechanisms. Ultimately, a thorough, molecular-level understanding of how light regulates pathogenesis will augment efforts to manage grey leaf spot by improving host resistance and disease management strategies.