The spore coat of the bean anthracnose fungus Colletotrichum lindemuthianum is required for adhesion, appressorium development and pathogenicity

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The spores (conidia) of the bean anthracnose fungal pathogen, Colletotrichum lindemuthianum, adhere to the aerial parts of plants to initiate the infection process. In previous studies we have shown that the Colletotrichum spores are surrounded by a fibrillar spore coat, comprising several major glycoproteins. Previous evidence showed that a monoclonal antibody (UB20) that recognised these glycoproteins was able to inhibit adhesion of spores to a hydrophobic surface. In this paper we have further studied the role of the spore coat in adhesion, germination and fungal development by studying the effects of UB20 and protease treatment of spores. The latter treatment has previously been shown to remove the spore coat. Spores germinate on glass, polystyrene and water agar, however, appressoria only develop on glass or polystyrene, showing a requirement for a hard surface. Removal of the spore coat with protease inhibits adhesion at 30 min, before the secretion of ECM glycoproteins. Protease treatment also inhibits the development of appressoria and reduces pathogenicity on leaves. Incubation of spores with the MAb UB20 inhibits adhesion at 30 min, but does not affect appressorium formation or pathogenicity. The results suggest that an intact spore coat has two functions; it is required for adhesion to a hydrophobic surface and for the detection of a hard surface necessary for appressorium formation. We suggest that contact with a hard surface, rather than adhesion, is the key event leading to appressorium formation. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-119
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiological and Molecular Plant Pathology
Issue number4-6
Early online date1 Aug 2007
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2007


  • extracellular matrix, bean, spore coat, conidia, spore, adhesion, appressorium, Colletotrichum lindemuthianum