Professor Nick Talbot in one of the controlled environment rooms

Professor Nick Talbot

Professor Nick Talbot FRS
Professor of Molecular Genetics and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Knowledge Transfer

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category



Books
Talbot, N.J. (2004). Plant-Pathogen Interactions. Annual Plant Reviews, Volume 11.
Talbot, N.J. (2001). Molecular and Cellular Biology of Filamentous Fungi - a Practical Approach..
Journal articles
Klionsky, D.J., Abdalla, F.C., Abeliovich, H., Abraham, R.T., Acevedo-Arozena, A., Adeli, K., Agholme, L., Agnello, M., Agostinis, P., Aguirre-Ghiso, J.A., et al (In Press). Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy.
Li, Y., Yue, X., Que, Y., Yan, X., Ma, Z., Talbot, N.J., Wang, Z. (2014). Characterisation of four LIM protein-encoding genes involved in infection-related development and pathogenicity by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Plos One, 9(2).

Abstract:
Characterisation of four LIM protein-encoding genes involved in infection-related development and pathogenicity by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae.

LIM domain proteins contain contiguous double-zinc finger domains and play important roles in cytoskeletal re-organisation and organ development in multi-cellular eukaryotes. Here, we report the characterization of four genes encoding LIM proteins in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Targeted gene replacement of either the paxillin-encoding gene, PAX1, or LRG1 resulted in a significant reduction in hyphal growth and loss of pathogenicity, while deletion of RGA1 caused defects in conidiogenesis and appressorium development. A fourth LIM domain gene, LDP1, was not required for infection-associated development by M. oryzae. Live cell imaging revealed that Lrg1-GFP and Rga1-GFP both localize to septal pores, while Pax1-GFP is present in the cytoplasm. To explore the function of individual LIM domains, we carried out systematic deletion of each LIM domain, which revealed the importance of the Lrg1-LIM2 and Lrg1-RhoGAP domains for Lrg1 function and overlapping functions of the three LIM domains of Pax1. Interestingly, deletion of either PAX1 or LRG1 led to decreased sensitivity to cell wall-perturbing agents, such as Congo Red and SDS (sodium dodecyl sulfate). qRT-PCR analysis demonstrated the importance of both Lrg1 and Pax1 to regulation of genes associated with cell wall biogenesis. When considered together, our results indicate that LIM domain proteins are key regulators of infection-associated morphogenesis by the rice blast fungus.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Badaruddin, M., Holcombe, L.J., Wilson, R.A., Wang, Z.Y., Kershaw, M.J., Talbot, N.J. (2013). Glycogen metabolic genes are involved in trehalose-6-phosphate synthase-mediated regulation of pathogenicity by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Plos Pathog, 9(10).

Abstract:
Glycogen metabolic genes are involved in trehalose-6-phosphate synthase-mediated regulation of pathogenicity by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae.

The filamentous fungus Magnaporthe oryzae is the causal agent of rice blast disease. Here we show that glycogen metabolic genes play an important role in plant infection by M. oryzae. Targeted deletion of AGL1 and GPH1, which encode amyloglucosidase and glycogen phosphorylase, respectively, prevented mobilisation of glycogen stores during appressorium development and caused a significant reduction in the ability of M. oryzae to cause rice blast disease. By contrast, targeted mutation of GSN1, which encodes glycogen synthase, significantly reduced the synthesis of intracellular glycogen, but had no effect on fungal pathogenicity. We found that loss of AGL1 and GPH1 led to a reduction in expression of TPS1 and TPS3, which encode components of the trehalose-6-phosphate synthase complex, that acts as a genetic switch in M. oryzae. Tps1 responds to glucose-6-phosphate levels and the balance of NADP/NADPH to regulate virulence-associated gene expression, in association with Nmr transcriptional inhibitors. We show that deletion of the NMR3 transcriptional inhibitor gene partially restores virulence to a Δagl1Δgph1 mutant, suggesting that glycogen metabolic genes are necessary for operation of the NADPH-dependent genetic switch in M. oryzae.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Richards, T.A., Talbot, N.J. (2013). Horizontal gene transfer in osmotrophs: playing with public goods. Nat Rev Microbiol, 11(10), 720-727.

Abstract:
Horizontal gene transfer in osmotrophs: playing with public goods.

Osmotrophic microorganisms, such as fungi and oomycetes, feed by secreting depolymerizing enzymes to process complex food sources in the extracellular environment, and taking up the resulting simple sugars, micronutrients and amino acids. As a consequence of this lifestyle, osmotrophs engage in the acquisition and protection of public goods. In this Opinion article, we propose that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has played a key part in shaping both the repertoire of proteins required for osmotrophy and the nature of public goods interactions in which eukaryotic microorganisms engage.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Ryder, L.S., Mentlak, T.A., Dagdas, Y.F., Kershaw, M.J., Thornton, C.R., Chen, J., Wang, Z., Talbot, N.J. (2013). NADPH oxidases regulate septin-mediated cytoskeletal re-modeling during plant infection by the rice blast fungus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of Usa, 110, 3179-3184.
Mentlak, T.A., Kombrink, A., Shinya, T., Ryder, L.S., Otomo, I., Saitoh, H., Terauchi, R., Nishizawa, Y., Shibuya, N., Thomma, B.P., et al (2012). Effector-mediated suppression of chitin-triggered immunity by magnaporthe oryzae is necessary for rice blast disease. Plant Cell, 24(1), 322-335.

Abstract:
Effector-mediated suppression of chitin-triggered immunity by magnaporthe oryzae is necessary for rice blast disease.

Plants use pattern recognition receptors to defend themselves from microbial pathogens. These receptors recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and activate signaling pathways that lead to immunity. In rice (Oryza sativa), the chitin elicitor binding protein (CEBiP) recognizes chitin oligosaccharides released from the cell walls of fungal pathogens. Here, we show that the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae overcomes this first line of plant defense by secreting an effector protein, Secreted LysM Protein1 (Slp1), during invasion of new rice cells. We demonstrate that Slp1 accumulates at the interface between the fungal cell wall and the rice plasma membrane, can bind to chitin, and is able to suppress chitin-induced plant immune responses, including generation of reactive oxygen species and plant defense gene expression. Furthermore, we show that Slp1 competes with CEBiP for binding of chitin oligosaccharides. Slp1 is required by M. oryzae for full virulence and exerts a significant effect on tissue invasion and disease lesion expansion. By contrast, gene silencing of CEBiP in rice allows M. oryzae to cause rice blast disease in the absence of Slp1. We propose that Slp1 sequesters chitin oligosaccharides to prevent PAMP-triggered immunity in rice, thereby facilitating rapid spread of the fungus within host tissue.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Soanes, D.M., Chakrabarti, A., Paszkiewicz, K.H., Dawe, A.L., Talbot, N.J. (2012). Genome-wide transcriptional profiling of appressorium development by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Plos Pathog, 8(2).

Abstract:
Genome-wide transcriptional profiling of appressorium development by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae.

The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae is one of the most significant pathogens affecting global food security. To cause rice blast disease the fungus elaborates a specialised infection structure called an appressorium. Here, we report genome wide transcriptional profile analysis of appressorium development using next generation sequencing (NGS). We performed both RNA-Seq and High-Throughput SuperSAGE analysis to compare the utility of these procedures for identifying differential gene expression in M. oryzae. We then analysed global patterns of gene expression during appressorium development. We show evidence for large-scale gene expression changes, highlighting the role of autophagy, lipid metabolism and melanin biosynthesis in appressorium differentiation. We reveal the role of the Pmk1 MAP kinase as a key global regulator of appressorium-associated gene expression. We also provide evidence for differential expression of transporter-encoding gene families and specific high level expression of genes involved in quinate uptake and utilization, consistent with pathogen-mediated perturbation of host metabolism during plant infection. When considered together, these data provide a comprehensive high-resolution analysis of gene expression changes associated with cellular differentiation that will provide a key resource for understanding the biology of rice blast disease.
 Abstract.  Author URL Full text
He, M., Kershaw, M.J., Soanes, D.M., Xia, Y., Talbot, N.J. (2012). Infection-associated nuclear degeneration in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae requires non-selective macro-autophagy. Plos One, 7(3).

Abstract:
Infection-associated nuclear degeneration in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae requires non-selective macro-autophagy.

The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae elaborates a specialized infection structure called an appressorium to breach the rice leaf surface and gain access to plant tissue. Appressorium development is controlled by cell cycle progression, and a single round of nuclear division occurs prior to appressorium formation. Mitosis is always followed by programmed cell death of the spore from which the appressorium develops. Nuclear degeneration in the spore is known to be essential for plant infection, but the precise mechanism by which it occurs is not known.
 Abstract.  Author URL Full text
Romão-Dumaresq, A.S., de Araújo, W.L., Talbot, N.J., Thornton, C.R. (2012). RNA interference of endochitinases in the sugarcane endophyte Trichoderma virens 223 reduces its fitness as a biocontrol agent of pineapple disease. Plos One, 7(10).

Abstract:
RNA interference of endochitinases in the sugarcane endophyte Trichoderma virens 223 reduces its fitness as a biocontrol agent of pineapple disease

The sugarcane root endophyte Trichoderma virens 223 holds enormous potential as a sustainable alternative to chemical pesticides in the control of sugarcane diseases. Its efficacy as a biocontrol agent is thought to be associated with its production of chitinase enzymes, including N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidases, chitobiosidases and endochitinases. We used targeted gene deletion and RNA-dependent gene silencing strategies to disrupt N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase and endochitinase activities of the fungus, and to determine their roles in the biocontrol of soil-borne plant pathogens. The loss of N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase activities was dispensable for biocontrol of the plurivorous damping-off pathogens Rhizoctonia solani and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, and of the sugarcane pathogen Ceratocystis paradoxa, the causal agent of pineapple disease. Similarly, suppression of endochitinase activities had no effect on R. solani and S. sclerotiorum disease control, but had a pronounced effect on the ability of T. virens 223 to control pineapple disease. Our work demonstrates a critical requirement for T. virens 223 endochitinase activity in the biocontrol of C. paradoxa sugarcane disease, but not for general antagonism of other soil pathogens. This may reflect its lifestyle as a sugarcane root endophyte.
 Abstract. Full text
Talbot, N.J. (2012). Regulating morphogenetic transitions during development and pathogenesis of microbial eukaryotes. Curr Opin Microbiol, 15(6), 633-636. Author URL
Ryder, L.S., Harris, B.D., Soanes, D.M., Kershaw, M.J., Talbot, N.J., Thornton, C.R. (2012). Saprotrophic competitiveness and biocontrol fitness of a genetically modified strain of the plant-growth-promoting fungus Trichoderma hamatum GD12. Microbiology, 158(Pt 1), 84-97.

Abstract:
Saprotrophic competitiveness and biocontrol fitness of a genetically modified strain of the plant-growth-promoting fungus Trichoderma hamatum GD12.

Trichoderma species are ubiquitous soil fungi that hold enormous potential for the development of credible alternatives to agrochemicals and synthetic fertilizers in sustainable crop production. In this paper, we show that substantial improvements in plant productivity can be met by genetic modification of a plant-growth-promoting and biocontrol strain of Trichoderma hamatum, but that these improvements are obtained in the absence of disease pressure only. Using a quantitative monoclonal antibody-based ELISA, we show that an N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase-deficient mutant of T. hamatum, generated by insertional mutagenesis of the corresponding gene, has impaired saprotrophic competitiveness during antagonistic interactions with Rhizoctonia solani in soil. Furthermore, its fitness as a biocontrol agent of the pre-emergence damping-off pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is significantly reduced, and its ability to promote plant growth is constrained by the presence of both pathogens. This work shows that while gains in T. hamatum-mediated plant-growth-promotion can be met through genetic manipulation of a single beneficial trait, such a modification has negative impacts on other aspects of its biology and ecology that contribute to its success as a saprotrophic competitor and antagonist of soil-borne pathogens. The work has important implications for fungal morphogenesis, demonstrating a clear link between hyphal architecture and secretory potential. Furthermore, it highlights the need for a holistic approach to the development of genetically modified Trichoderma strains for use as crop stimulants and biocontrol agents in plant agriculture.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Dagdas, Y.F., Yoshino, K., Dagdas, G., Ryder, L.S., Bielska, E., Steinberg, G., Talbot, N.J. (2012). Septin-mediated plant cell invasion by the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae. Science, 336(6088), 1590-1595.

Abstract:
Septin-mediated plant cell invasion by the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae.

To cause rice blast disease, the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae develops a pressurized dome-shaped cell called an appressorium, which physically ruptures the leaf cuticle to gain entry to plant tissue. Here, we report that a toroidal F-actin network assembles in the appressorium by means of four septin guanosine triphosphatases, which polymerize into a dynamic, hetero-oligomeric ring. Septins scaffold F-actin, via the ezrin-radixin-moesin protein Tea1, and phosphatidylinositide interactions at the appressorium plasma membrane. The septin ring assembles in a Cdc42- and Chm1-dependent manner and forms a diffusion barrier to localize the inverse-bin-amphiphysin-RVS-domain protein Rvs167 and the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein Las17 at the point of penetration. Septins thereby provide the cortical rigidity and membrane curvature necessary for protrusion of a rigid penetration peg to breach the leaf surface.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Yan, X., Ma, W.-.B., Li, Y., Wang, H., Que, Y.-.W., Ma, Z.-.H., Talbot, N.J., Wang, Z.-.Y. (2011). A sterol 14α-demethylase is required for conidiation, virulence and for mediating sensitivity to sterol demethylation inhibitors by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Fungal Genetics and Biology, 48(2), 144-153.
Shlezinger, N., Minz, A., Gur, Y., Hatam, I., Dagdas, Y.F., Talbot, N.J., Sharon, A. (2011). Anti-apoptotic machinery protects the necrotrophic fungus botrytis cinerea from host-induced apoptotic-like cell death during plant infection. Plos Pathogens, 7(8).
Mentlak, T.A., Talbot, N.J., Kroj, T. (2011). Effector Translocation and Delivery by the Rice Blast Fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Effectors in Plant-microbe Interactions, 219-241.
Richards, T.A., Leonard, G., Soanes, D.M., Talbot, N.J. (2011). Gene transfer into the fungi. Fungal Biology Reviews, 25(2), 98-110.
Amselem, J., Cuomo, C.A., van Kan, J.A., Viaud, M., Benito, E.P., Couloux, A., Coutinho, P.M., de Vries, R.P., Dyer, P.S., Fillinger, S., et al (2011). Genomic analysis of the necrotrophic fungal pathogens Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Botrytis cinerea. Plos Genet, 7(8).

Abstract:
Genomic analysis of the necrotrophic fungal pathogens Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Botrytis cinerea.

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Botrytis cinerea are closely related necrotrophic plant pathogenic fungi notable for their wide host ranges and environmental persistence. These attributes have made these species models for understanding the complexity of necrotrophic, broad host-range pathogenicity. Despite their similarities, the two species differ in mating behaviour and the ability to produce asexual spores. We have sequenced the genomes of one strain of S. sclerotiorum and two strains of B. cinerea. The comparative analysis of these genomes relative to one another and to other sequenced fungal genomes is provided here. Their 38-39 Mb genomes include 11,860-14,270 predicted genes, which share 83% amino acid identity on average between the two species. We have mapped the S. sclerotiorum assembly to 16 chromosomes and found large-scale co-linearity with the B. cinerea genomes. Seven percent of the S. sclerotiorum genome comprises transposable elements compared to <1% of B. cinerea. The arsenal of genes associated with necrotrophic processes is similar between the species, including genes involved in plant cell wall degradation and oxalic acid production. Analysis of secondary metabolism gene clusters revealed an expansion in number and diversity of B. cinerea-specific secondary metabolites relative to S. sclerotiorum. The potential diversity in secondary metabolism might be involved in adaptation to specific ecological niches. Comparative genome analysis revealed the basis of differing sexual mating compatibility systems between S. sclerotiorum and B. cinerea. The organization of the mating-type loci differs, and their structures provide evidence for the evolution of heterothallism from homothallism. These data shed light on the evolutionary and mechanistic bases of the genetically complex traits of necrotrophic pathogenicity and sexual mating. This resource should facilitate the functional studies designed to better understand what makes these fungi such successful and persistent pathogens of agronomic crops.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Richards, T.A., Soanes, D.M., Jones, M.D., Vasieva, O., Leonard, G., Paszkiewicz, K., Foster, P.G., Hall, N., Talbot, N.J. (2011). Horizontal gene transfer facilitated the evolution of plant parasitic mechanisms in the oomycetes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 108(37), 15258-15263.

Abstract:
Horizontal gene transfer facilitated the evolution of plant parasitic mechanisms in the oomycetes.

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) can radically alter the genomes of microorganisms, providing the capacity to adapt to new lifestyles, environments, and hosts. However, the extent of HGT between eukaryotes is unclear. Using whole-genome, gene-by-gene phylogenetic analysis we demonstrate an extensive pattern of cross-kingdom HGT between fungi and oomycetes. Comparative genomics, including the de novo genome sequence of Hyphochytrium catenoides, a free-living sister of the oomycetes, shows that these transfers largely converge within the radiation of oomycetes that colonize plant tissues. The repertoire of HGTs includes a large number of putatively secreted proteins; for example, 7.6% of the secreted proteome of the sudden oak death parasite Phytophthora ramorum has been acquired from fungi by HGT. Transfers include gene products with the capacity to break down plant cell walls and acquire sugars, nucleic acids, nitrogen, and phosphate sources from the environment. Predicted HGTs also include proteins implicated in resisting plant defense mechanisms and effector proteins for attacking plant cells. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that some oomycetes became successful plant parasites by multiple acquisitions of genes from fungi.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Wilson, R.A., Gibson, R.P., Quispe, C.F., Littlechild, J.A., Talbot, N.J. (2010). An NADPH-dependent genetic switch regulates plant infection by the rice blast fungus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 107(50), 21902-21907.

Abstract:
An NADPH-dependent genetic switch regulates plant infection by the rice blast fungus.

To cause rice blast disease, the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae breaches the tough outer cuticle of the rice leaf by using specialized infection structures called appressoria. These cells allow the fungus to invade the host plant and proliferate rapidly within leaf tissue. Here, we show that a unique NADPH-dependent genetic switch regulates plant infection in response to the changing nutritional and redox conditions encountered by the pathogen. The biosynthetic enzyme trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (Tps1) integrates control of glucose-6-phosphate metabolism and nitrogen source utilization by regulating the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway, the generation of NADPH, and the activity of nitrate reductase. We report that Tps1 directly binds to NADPH and, thereby, regulates a set of related transcriptional corepressors, comprising three proteins, Nmr1, Nmr2, and Nmr3, which can each bind NADP. Targeted deletion of any of the Nmr-encoding genes partially suppresses the nonpathogenic phenotype of a Δtps1 mutant. Tps1-dependent Nmr corepressors control the expression of a set of virulence-associated genes that are derepressed during appressorium-mediated plant infection. When considered together, these results suggest that initiation of rice blast disease by M. oryzae requires a regulatory mechanism involving an NADPH sensor protein, Tps1, a set of NADP-dependent transcriptional corepressors, and the nonconsuming interconversion of NADPH and NADP acting as signal transducer.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Talbot, N.J. (2010). Cell biology: Raiding the sweet shop. Nature, 468(7323), 510-511.
Saunders, D.G., Aves, S.J., Talbot, N.J. (2010). Cell cycle-mediated regulation of plant infection by the rice blast fungus. Plant Cell, 22(2), 497-507.

Abstract:
Cell cycle-mediated regulation of plant infection by the rice blast fungus.

To gain entry to plants, many pathogenic fungi develop specialized infection structures called appressoria. Here, we demonstrate that appressorium morphogenesis in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae is tightly regulated by the cell cycle. Shortly after a fungus spore lands on the rice (Oryza sativa) leaf surface, a single round of mitosis always occurs in the germ tube. We found that initiation of infection structure development is regulated by a DNA replication-dependent checkpoint. Genetic intervention in DNA synthesis, by conditional mutation of the Never-in-Mitosis 1 gene, prevented germ tubes from developing nascent infection structures. Cellular differentiation of appressoria, however, required entry into mitosis because nimA temperature-sensitive mutants, blocked at mitotic entry, were unable to develop functional appressoria. Arresting the cell cycle after mitotic entry, by conditional inactivation of the Blocked-in-Mitosis 1 gene or expression of stabilized cyclinB-encoding alleles, did not impair appressorium differentiation, but instead prevented these cells from invading plant tissue. When considered together, these data suggest that appressorium-mediated plant infection is coordinated by three distinct cell cycle checkpoints that are necessary for establishment of plant disease.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Li, Y., Liang, S., Yan, X., Wang, H., Li, D., Soanes, D.M., Talbot, N.J., Wang, Z., Wang, Z. (2010). Characterization of MoLDB1 required for vegetative growth, infection-related morphogenesis, and pathogenicity in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Mol Plant Microbe Interact, 23(10), 1260-1274.

Abstract:
Characterization of MoLDB1 required for vegetative growth, infection-related morphogenesis, and pathogenicity in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae.

An insertional mutagenesis screen in the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae, identified a novel mutant, A2-12-3, which is defective in infection-related morphogenesis and pathogenicity. Analysis of the mutation confirmed an insertion into MoLDB1, which putatively encodes an 806-amino-acid protein with a predicted LIM binding domain. Targeted gene deletion mutants of MoLDB1 were unable to produce asexual or sexual spores and were significantly impaired in vegetative growth and fungal virulence. The Δmoldb1 mutants also showed reduced expression of genes coding hydrophobic proteins (e.g. MPG1 and MHP1), resulting in an easily wettable phenotype in vegetative culture. Moreover, the expression of four genes encoding LIM proteins predicted from the M. oryzae genome was significantly downregulated by deletion of MoLDB1. Analysis of an M. oryzae strain expressing a MoLbd1-green fluorescent protein gene fusion was consistent with the protein being nuclear localized. When considered together, MoLdb1 appears to be involved in regulation of cell wall proteins, including hydrophobins and LIM proteins, and is essential for conidiation, sexual development, appressorium formation, and pathogenicity in M. oryzae.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Soanes, D.M., Talbot, N.J. (2010). Comparative genome analysis reveals an absence of leucine-rich repeat pattern-recognition receptor proteins in the kingdom Fungi. Plos One, 5(9).
Soanes, D.M., Talbot, N.J. (2010). Comparative genome analysis reveals an absence of leucine-rich repeat pattern-recognition receptor proteins in the kingdom Fungi. Plos One, 5(9).

Abstract:
Comparative genome analysis reveals an absence of leucine-rich repeat pattern-recognition receptor proteins in the kingdom Fungi.

In plants and animals innate immunity is the first line of defence against attack by microbial pathogens. Specific molecular features of bacteria and fungi are recognised by pattern recognition receptors that have extracellular domains containing leucine rich repeats. Recognition of microbes by these receptors induces defence responses that protect hosts against potential microbial attack.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Spanu, P.D., Abbott, J.C., Amselem, J., Burgis, T.A., Soanes, D.M., Stüber, K., Ver Loren van Themaat, E., Brown, J.K., Butcher, S.A., Gurr, S.J., et al (2010). Genome expansion and gene loss in powdery mildew fungi reveal tradeoffs in extreme parasitism. Science, 330(6010), 1543-1546.

Abstract:
Genome expansion and gene loss in powdery mildew fungi reveal tradeoffs in extreme parasitism.

Powdery mildews are phytopathogens whose growth and reproduction are entirely dependent on living plant cells. The molecular basis of this life-style, obligate biotrophy, remains unknown. We present the genome analysis of barley powdery mildew, Blumeria graminis f.sp. hordei (Blumeria), as well as a comparison with the analysis of two powdery mildews pathogenic on dicotyledonous plants. These genomes display massive retrotransposon proliferation, genome-size expansion, and gene losses. The missing genes encode enzymes of primary and secondary metabolism, carbohydrate-active enzymes, and transporters, probably reflecting their redundancy in an exclusively biotrophic life-style. Among the 248 candidate effectors of pathogenesis identified in the Blumeria genome, very few (less than 10) define a core set conserved in all three mildews, suggesting that most effectors represent species-specific adaptations.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Talbot, N.J. (2010). Living the sweet life: how does a plant pathogenic fungus acquire sugar from plants?. Plos Biol, 8(2). Author URL
Saunders, D.G., Dagdas, Y.F., Talbot, N.J. (2010). Spatial uncoupling of mitosis and cytokinesis during appressorium-mediated plant infection by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Plant Cell, 22(7), 2417-2428.

Abstract:
Spatial uncoupling of mitosis and cytokinesis during appressorium-mediated plant infection by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae.

To infect plants, many pathogenic fungi develop specialized infection structures called appressoria. Here, we report that appressorium development in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae involves an unusual cell division, in which nuclear division is spatially uncoupled from the site of cytokinesis and septum formation. The position of the appressorium septum is defined prior to mitosis by formation of a heteromeric septin ring complex, which was visualized by spatial localization of Septin4:green fluorescent protein (GFP) and Septin5:GFP fusion proteins. Mitosis in the fungal germ tube is followed by long-distance nuclear migration and rapid formation of an actomyosin contractile ring in the neck of the developing appressorium, at a position previously marked by the septin complex. By contrast, mutants impaired in appressorium development, such as Deltapmk1 and DeltacpkA regulatory mutants, undergo coupled mitosis and cytokinesis within the germ tube. Perturbation of the spatial control of septation, by conditional mutation of the SEPTATION-ASSOCIATED1 gene of M. oryzae, prevented the fungus from causing rice blast disease. Overexpression of SEP1 did not affect septation during appressorium formation, but instead led to decoupling of nuclear division and cytokinesis in nongerminated conidial cells. When considered together, these results indicate that SEP1 is essential for determining the position and frequency of cell division sites in M. oryzae and demonstrate that differentiation of appressoria requires a cytokinetic event that is distinct from cell divisions within hyphae.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Rispail, N., Soanes, D.M., Ant, C., Czajkowski, R., Grünler, A., Huguet, R., Perez-Nadales, E., Poli, A., Sartorel, E., Valiante, V., et al (2009). Comparative genomics of MAP kinase and calcium-calcineurin signalling components in plant and human pathogenic fungi. Fungal Genet Biol, 46(4), 287-298.

Abstract:
Comparative genomics of MAP kinase and calcium-calcineurin signalling components in plant and human pathogenic fungi.

Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades and the calcium-calcineurin pathway control fundamental aspects of fungal growth, development and reproduction. Core elements of these signalling pathways are required for virulence in a wide array of fungal pathogens of plants and mammals. In this review, we have used the available genome databases to explore the structural conservation of three MAPK cascades and the calcium-calcineurin pathway in ten different fungal species, including model organisms, plant pathogens and human pathogens. While most known pathway components from the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae appear to be widely conserved among taxonomically and biologically diverse fungi, some of them were found to be restricted to the Saccharomycotina. The presence of multiple paralogues in certain species such as the zygomycete Rhizopus oryzae and the incorporation of new functional domains that are lacking in S. cerevisiae signalling proteins, most likely reflect functional diversification or adaptation as filamentous fungi have evolved to occupy distinct ecological niches.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Wilson, R.A., Talbot, N.J. (2009). Fungal physiology - a future perspective. Microbiology, 155(12), 3810-3815.
Kershaw, M.J., Talbot, N.J. (2009). Genome-wide functional analysis reveals that infection-associated fungal autophagy is necessary for rice blast disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 106(37), 15967-15972.

Abstract:
Genome-wide functional analysis reveals that infection-associated fungal autophagy is necessary for rice blast disease.

To cause rice blast disease, the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae elaborates specialized infection structures called appressoria, which use enormous turgor to rupture the tough outer cuticle of a rice leaf. Here, we report the generation of a set of 22 isogenic M. oryzae mutants each differing by a single component of the predicted autophagic machinery of the fungus. Analysis of this set of targeted deletion mutants demonstrated that loss of any of the 16 genes necessary for nonselective macroautophagy renders the fungus unable to cause rice blast disease, due to impairment of both conidial programmed cell death and appressorium maturation. In contrast, genes necessary only for selective forms of autophagy, such as pexophagy and mitophagy, are dispensable for appressorium-mediated plant infection. A genome-wide analysis therefore demonstrates the importance of infection-associated, nonselective autophagy for the establishment of rice blast disease.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Richards, T.A., Soanes, D.M., Foster, P.G., Leonard, G., Thornton, C.R., Talbot, N.J. (2009). Phylogenomic analysis demonstrates a pattern of rare and ancient horizontal gene transfer between plants and fungi. The Plant Cell, 21, 1897-1911.
Richards, T.A., Soanes, D.M., Foster, P.G., Leonard, G., Thornton, C.R., Talbot, N.J. (2009). Phylogenomic analysis demonstrates a pattern of rare and ancient horizontal gene transfer between plants and fungi. Plant Cell, 21(7), 1897-1911.

Abstract:
Phylogenomic analysis demonstrates a pattern of rare and ancient horizontal gene transfer between plants and fungi.

Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) describes the transmission of genetic material across species boundaries and is an important evolutionary phenomenon in the ancestry of many microbes. The role of HGT in plant evolutionary history is, however, largely unexplored. Here, we compare the genomes of six plant species with those of 159 prokaryotic and eukaryotic species and identify 1689 genes that show the highest similarity to corresponding genes from fungi. We constructed a phylogeny for all 1689 genes identified and all homolog groups available from the rice (Oryza sativa) genome (3177 gene families) and used these to define 14 candidate plant-fungi HGT events. Comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of these 14 data sets, using methods that account for site rate heterogeneity, demonstrated support for nine HGT events, demonstrating an infrequent pattern of HGT between plants and fungi. Five HGTs were fungi-to-plant transfers and four were plant-to-fungi HGTs. None of the fungal-to-plant HGTs involved angiosperm recipients. These results alter the current view of organismal barriers to HGT, suggesting that phagotrophy, the consumption of a whole cell by another, is not necessarily a prerequisite for HGT between eukaryotes. Putative functional annotation of the HGT candidate genes suggests that two fungi-to-plant transfers have added phenotypes important for life in a soil environment. Our study suggests that genetic exchange between plants and fungi is exceedingly rare, particularly among the angiosperms, but has occurred during their evolutionary history and added important metabolic traits to plant lineages.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Talbot, N.J., Kershaw, M.J. (2009). The emerging role of autophagy in plant pathogen attack and host defence. Curr Opin Plant Biol, 12(4), 444-450.

Abstract:
The emerging role of autophagy in plant pathogen attack and host defence.

Autophagy is emerging as an important process in plant infection by pathogenic fungi, which develop differentiated infection cells to breach the plant cuticle. Conversely, autophagic processes are also important in the defence responses of plants that are able to perceive and react to invading pathogens. The pivotal role of autophagy in both fungal pathogenesis and disease resistance is linked to its function in the regulation of programmed cell death which is a key component of plant immunity responses and fungal infection-related development.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Wilson, R.A., Talbot, N.J. (2009). Under pressure: investigating the biology of plant infection by Magnaporthe oryzae. Nat Rev Microbiol, 7(3), 185-195.

Abstract:
Under pressure: investigating the biology of plant infection by Magnaporthe oryzae.

The filamentous fungus Magnaporthe oryzae causes rice blast, the most serious disease of cultivated rice. Cellular differentiation of M. oryzae forms an infection structure called the appressorium, which generates enormous cellular turgor that is sufficient to rupture the plant cuticle. Here, we show how functional genomics approaches are providing new insight into the genetic control of plant infection by M. oryzae. We also look ahead to the key questions that need to be addressed to provide a better understanding of the molecular processes that lead to plant disease and the prospects for sustainable control of rice blast.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Soanes, D.M., Alam, I., Cornell, M., Wong, H.M., Hedeler, C., Paton, N.W., Rattray, M., Hubbard, S.J., Oliver, S.G., Talbot, N.J., et al (2008). Comparative genome analysis of filamentous fungi reveals gene family expansions associated with fungal pathogenesis. Plos One, 3(6).

Abstract:
Comparative genome analysis of filamentous fungi reveals gene family expansions associated with fungal pathogenesis.

Fungi and oomycetes are the causal agents of many of the most serious diseases of plants. Here we report a detailed comparative analysis of the genome sequences of thirty-six species of fungi and oomycetes, including seven plant pathogenic species, that aims to explore the common genetic features associated with plant disease-causing species. The predicted translational products of each genome have been clustered into groups of potential orthologues using Markov Chain Clustering and the data integrated into the e-Fungi object-oriented data warehouse (http://www.e-fungi.org.uk/). Analysis of the species distribution of members of these clusters has identified proteins that are specific to filamentous fungal species and a group of proteins found only in plant pathogens. By comparing the gene inventories of filamentous, ascomycetous phytopathogenic and free-living species of fungi, we have identified a set of gene families that appear to have expanded during the evolution of phytopathogens and may therefore serve important roles in plant disease. We have also characterised the predicted set of secreted proteins encoded by each genome and identified a set of protein families which are significantly over-represented in the secretomes of plant pathogenic fungi, including putative effector proteins that might perturb host cell biology during plant infection. The results demonstrate the potential of comparative genome analysis for exploring the evolution of eukaryotic microbial pathogenesis.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Egan, M.J., Talbot, N.J. (2008). Genomes, free radicals and plant cell invasion: recent developments in plant pathogenic fungi. Curr Opin Plant Biol, 11(4), 367-372.

Abstract:
Genomes, free radicals and plant cell invasion: recent developments in plant pathogenic fungi.

This review describes current advances in our understanding of fungal-plant interactions. The widespread application of whole genome sequencing to a diverse range of fungal species has allowed new insight into the evolution of fungal pathogenesis and the definition of the gene inventories associated with important plant pathogens. This has also led to functional genomic approaches to carry out large-scale gene functional analysis. There has also been significant progress in understanding appressorium-mediated plant infection by fungi and its underlying genetic basis. The nature of biotrophic proliferation of fungal pathogens in host tissue has recently revealed new potential mechanisms for cell-to-cell movement by invading pathogens.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Klionsky, D.J., Abeliovich, H., Agostinis, P., Agrawal, D.K., Aliev, G., Askew, D.S., Baba, M., Baehrecke, E.H., Bahr, B.A., Ballabio, A., et al (2008). Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy in higher eukaryotes. Autophagy, 4(2), 151-175.

Abstract:
Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy in higher eukaryotes.

Research in autophagy continues to accelerate,(1) and as a result many new scientists are entering the field. Accordingly, it is important to establish a standard set of criteria for monitoring macroautophagy in different organisms. Recent reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose.(2,3) There are many useful and convenient methods that can be used to monitor macroautophagy in yeast, but relatively few in other model systems, and there is much confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure macroautophagy in higher eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers of autophagosomes versus those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway; thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from fully functional autophagy that includes delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of the methods that can be used by investigators who are attempting to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as by reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that investigate these processes. This set of guidelines is not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to verify an autophagic response.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Soanes, D.M., Talbot, N.J. (2008). Moving targets: rapid evolution of oomycete effectors. Trends Microbiol, 16(11), 507-510.

Abstract:
Moving targets: rapid evolution of oomycete effectors.

Plant pathogenic microbes secrete proteins known as effectors, which enter the cytoplasm of plant cells and suppress host defences. Known effectors in oomycete pathogens possess an RXLR-EER motif in their amino acid sequence that is necessary for transport of the effector into a host plant cell. A large number of putative effectors have now been identified in oomycete genomes, the sequences of which show evidence of diversifying selection at their C terminus. Here, we describe recent progress in characterizing RXLR-EER effectors and discuss why so many of these rapidly evolving proteins are encoded by the genomes of plant pathogenic oomycetes.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Caracuel-Rios, Z., Talbot, N.J. (2008). Silencing the crowd: high-throughput functional genomics in Magnaporthe oryzae. Mol Microbiol, 68(6), 1341-1344.

Abstract:
Silencing the crowd: high-throughput functional genomics in Magnaporthe oryzae.

A new high-throughput RNA-silencing system has been developed for use in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, allowing rapid generation of transformants in which individual genes have been silenced. Development of this system will allow large-scale functional analysis of genes in the fungus to define the cellular processes required for plant infection and disease symptoms. Functional analysis of 37 genes predicted to be involved in calcium signalling was carried out by RNA silencing to validate the new strategy and has provided new insight into the role of calcium-mediated signal transduction in plant pathogenic fungi.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Veneault-Fourrey, C., Talbot, N.J. (2007). Autophagic cell death and its importance for fungal developmental biology and pathogenesis. Autophagy, 3, 126-127.
Talbot, N.J. (2007). Cellular differentiation and host invasion by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea. Current Opinion in Microbiology, 10, 339-345.
Alam, I., Soanes, D.M., Wong, H.M. (2007). Comparative genome analysis across a kingdom of eukaryotic organisms: specialization and diversification of the fungi. Genome Research, 17, 1809-1822.
Talbot, N.J. (2007). Deadly special deliveries. Nature, 450, 41-43.
Wang, Z.Y., Soanes, D.M., Kershaw, M.J., Talbot, N.J. (2007). Functional analysis of lipid metabolism in Magnaporthe grisea reveals a requirement for peroxisomal fatty acid beta-oxidation during appressorium-mediated plant infection. Mol Plant Microbe Interact, 20(5), 475-491.

Abstract:
Functional analysis of lipid metabolism in Magnaporthe grisea reveals a requirement for peroxisomal fatty acid beta-oxidation during appressorium-mediated plant infection.

The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea infects plants by means of specialized infection structures known as appressoria. Turgor generated in the appressorium provides the invasive force that allows the fungus to breach the leaf cuticle with a narrow-penetration hypha gaining entry to the underlying epidermal cell. Appressorium maturation in M. grisea involves mass transfer of lipid bodies to the developing appressorium, coupled to autophagic cell death in the conidium and rapid lipolysis at the onset of appressorial turgor generation. Here, we report identification of the principal components of lipid metabolism in M. grisea based on genome sequence analysis. We show that deletion of any of the eight putative intracellular triacylglycerol lipase-encoding genes from the fungus is insufficient to prevent plant infection, highlighting the complexity and redundancy associated with appressorial lipolysis. In contrast, we demonstrate that a peroxisomally located multifunctional, fatty acid beta-oxidation enzyme is critical to appressorium physiology, and blocking peroxisomal biogenesis prevents plant infection. Taken together, our results indicate that, although triacylglycerol breakdown in the appressorium involves the concerted action of several lipases, fatty acid metabolism and consequent generation of acetyl CoA are necessary for M. grisea to complete its prepenetration phase of development and enter the host plant.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Soanes, D.M., Kershaw, M.J., Talbot, N.J. (2007). Functional analysis of lipid metabolism in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea reveals a role for peroxisomal b-oxidation in appressorium-mediated plant infection. Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions, 20, 475-491.
Talbot, N.J. (2007). Fungal genomics goes industrial. Nature Biotechnology, 25, 542-543.
Talbot, N.J., Egan, M.J., Jones, M.A., Smirnoff, N. (2007). Generation of reactive oxygen species by fungal NADPH oxidases is required for rice blast disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(28), 11772-11777.
Wilson, R.A., Jenkinson, J.M., Gibson, R.P., Littlechild, J.A., Wang, Z.Y., Talbot, N.J. (2007). Tps1 regulates the pentose phosphate pathway, nitrogen metabolism and fungal virulence. Embo J, 26(15), 3673-3685.

Abstract:
Tps1 regulates the pentose phosphate pathway, nitrogen metabolism and fungal virulence.

Trehalose fulfils a wide variety of functions in cells, acting as a stress protectant, storage carbohydrate and compatible solute. Recent evidence, however, indicates that trehalose metabolism may exert important regulatory roles in the development of multicellular eukaryotes. Here, we show that in the plant pathogenic fungus Magnaporthe grisea trehalose-6-phosphate (T6P) synthase (Tps1) is responsible for regulating the pentose phosphate pathway, intracellular levels of NADPH and fungal virulence. Tps1 integrates glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) metabolism with nitrogen source utilisation, and thereby regulates the activity of nitrate reductase. Activity of Tps1 requires an associated regulator protein Tps3, which is also necessary for pathogenicity. Tps1 controls expression of the nitrogen metabolite repressor gene, NMR1, and is required for expression of virulence-associated genes. Functional analysis of Tps1 indicates that its regulatory functions are associated with binding of G6P, but independent of Tps1 catalytic activity. Taken together, these results demonstrate that Tps1 is a central regulator for integration of carbon and nitrogen metabolism, and plays a pivotal role in the establishment of plant disease.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Gilbert, M.J., Thornton, C.R., Wakley, G.E., Talbot, N.J. (2006). A P-type ATPase required for rice blast disease and induction of host resistance. Nature, 440(7083), 535-539.
Talbot, N.J., Barooah, M.K., Egan, M.J., Veneault-Fourrey, C. (2006). Autophagic fungal cell death is necessary for infection by the rice blast fungus. Science, 312(5773), 580-583.
Soanes, D.M., Talbot, N.J. (2006). Comparative genomic analysis of phytopathogenic fungi using expressed sequence tag (EST) collections. Molecular Plant Pathology, 7, 61-70.
Richards, T.A., Dacks, J.B., Jenkinson, J.M., Thornton, C.R., Talbot, N.J. (2006). Evolution of filamentous plant pathogens: gene exchange across eukaryotic kingdoms. Current Biology, 16(18), 1857-1864.
Thornton, C.R., Talbot, N.J. (2006). Immunofluorescence microscopy and immunogold EM for investigating fungal infection of plants. Nature Protocols, 1, 2506-2511.
Soanes, D.M., Talbot, N.J. (2005). A bioinformatic tool for analysis of EST transcript abundance during infection-related development by Magnaporthe grisea. Mol Plant Pathol, 6(5), 503-512.

Abstract:
A bioinformatic tool for analysis of EST transcript abundance during infection-related development by Magnaporthe grisea.

SUMMARY Information regarding the levels of mRNA transcript abundance under different conditions, or in specific tissue types, can be obtained by analysis of the frequency of EST sequences in randomly sequenced cDNA libraries. Here we report a bioinformatics tool, which provides a means of identifying genes that are differentially expressed during pathogenesis-related development by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea. A total of 31 534 M. grisea ESTs were obtained from dbEST at NCBI, clustered into 8821 unique sequences (unisequences) and manually annotated. Transcript profiles were then calculated for 958 unigenes identified from eight different cDNA libraries. The data were integrated into the Consortium for Functional Genomics of Microbial Eukaryotes (COGEME) database (http://cogeme.ex.ac.uk/) and a web-based front end was designed to allow users to access and interrogate the generated datasets.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Kershaw, M.J., Wakley, G.E., Talbot, N.J., Thornton, C.R. (2005). Four conserved intra-molecular disulfide linkages are required for secretion and cell wall localization of a hydrophobin during fungal morphogenesis. Molecular Microbiology, 56(1), 117-125.
Veneault-Fourrey, C., Talbot, N.J. (2005). Moving toward a systems biology approach to the study of fungal pathogenesis in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea. Adv Appl Microbiol, 57, 177-215. Author URL
Wang, Z.Y., Jenkinson, J.M., Holcombe, L.J., Soanes, D.M., Veneault-Fourrey, C., Bhambra, G.K., Talbot, N.J. (2005). The molecular biology of appressorium turgor generation by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea. Biochem Soc Trans, 33(Pt 2), 384-388.

Abstract:
The molecular biology of appressorium turgor generation by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea.

The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea develops specialized infection structures known as appressoria, which develop enormous turgor pressure to bring about plant infection. Turgor is generated by accumulation of compatible solutes, including glycerol, which is synthesized in large quantities in the appressorium. Glycogen, trehalose and lipids represent the most abundant storage products in M. grisea conidia. Trehalose and glycogen are rapidly degraded during conidial germination and it is known that trehalose synthesis is required for virulence of the fungus. Lipid bodies are transported to the developing appressoria and degraded at the onset of turgor generation, in a process that is cAMP-dependent. A combined biochemical and genetic approach is being used to dissect the process of turgor generation in the rice blast fungus.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Tucker, S.L., Thornton, C.R., Tasker, K., Jacob, C., Giles, G., Egan, M., Talbot, N.J. (2004). A fungal metallothionein is required for pathogenicity of Magnaporthe grisea. The Plant Cell, 16(6), 1575-1588. Full text
Elliot, M.A., Talbot, N.J. (2004). Building filaments in the air: Aerial morphogenesis in bacteria and fungi. Current Opinion in Microbiology, 7(6), 594-601.
Talbot, N.J. (2004). Let there be blight: functional analysis of virulence in Phytophthora infestans. Mol Microbiol, 51(4), 913-915. Author URL
Holcombe, L., Gheorghe, M., Talbot, N.J. (2003). A hybrid machine model for rice blast fungus <em>Magnaporthe grisea</em>. Biosystems, 68, 223-228.
Giles, P.F., Soanes, D.M., Talbot, N.J. (2003). A relational database for the discovery of genes encoding amino acid biosynthetic enzymes in pathogenic fungi. Comp Funct Genomics, 4(1), 4-15.

Abstract:
A relational database for the discovery of genes encoding amino acid biosynthetic enzymes in pathogenic fungi.

Fungal phytopathogens continue to cause major economic impact, either directly, through crop losses, or due to the costs of fungicide application. Attempts to understand these organisms are hampered by a lack of fungal genome sequence data. A need exists, however, to develop specific bioinformatics tools to collate and analyse the sequence data that currently is available. A web-accessible gene discovery database (http://cogeme.ex.ac.uk/biosynthesis.html) was developed as a demonstration tool for the analysis of metabolic and signal transduction pathways in pathogenic fungi using incomplete gene inventories. Using Bayesian probability to analyse the currently available gene information from pathogenic fungi, we provide evidence that the obligate pathogen Blumeria graminis possesses all amino acid biosynthetic pathways found in free-living fungi, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Phylogenetic analysis was also used to deduce a gene history of succinate-semialdehyde dehydrogenase, an enzyme in the glutamate and lysine biosynthesis pathways. The database provides a tool and methodology to researchers to direct experimentation towards predicting pathway conservation in pathogenic microorganisms.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Talbot, N.J. (2003). Aerial morphogenesis: enter the chaplins. Curr Biol, 13(18), R696-R698.

Abstract:
Aerial morphogenesis: enter the chaplins.

Filamentous bacteria produce aerial structures to allow spores to be dispersed. A new class of secreted, surface-active proteins called chaplins has been identified in Streptomyces coelicolor. Chaplins form unusual amyloid-like fibrils and act cooperatively to bring about aerial development.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Talbot, N.J. (2003). Functional genomics of plant-pathogen interactions. New Phytologist, 159(1), 1-4.
Talbot, N.J. (2003). On the trail of a cereal killer: Exploring the biology of Magnaporthe grisea. Annu Rev Microbiol, 57, 177-202.

Abstract:
On the trail of a cereal killer: Exploring the biology of Magnaporthe grisea.

The blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea causes a serious disease on a wide variety of grasses including rice, wheat, and barley. Rice blast is the most serious disease of cultivated rice and therefore poses a threat to the world&apos;s most important food security crop. Here, I review recent progress toward understanding the molecular biology of plant infection by M. grisea, which involves development of a specialized cell, the appressorium. This dome-shaped cell generates enormous turgor pressure and physical force, allowing the fungus to breach the host cuticle and invade plant tissue. The review also considers the role of avirulence genes in M. grisea and the mechanisms by which resistant rice cultivars are able to perceive the fungus and defend themselves. Finally, the likely mechanisms that promote genetic diversity in M. grisea and our current understanding of the population structure of the blast fungus are evaluated.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Viaud, M., Balhadère, P.V., Talbot, N.J. (2002). A Magnaporthe grisea cyclophilin acts as a virulence determinant during plant infection. The Plant Cell, 14, 917-930. Full text
Tunlid, A., Talbot, N.J. (2002). Genomics of parasitic and symbiotic fungi. Current Opinion in Microbiology, 5(5), 513-519.
Soanes, D.M., Skinner, W., Keon, J., Hargreaves, J., Talbot, N.J. (2002). Genomics of phytopathogenic fungi and the development of bioinformatic resources. Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions, 15, 421-427.
Pitt, D., Wakley, G.E., Talbot, N.J. (2002). Production of a monoclonal antibody specific to the genus Trichoderma and closely related fungi, and its use to detect Trichoderma spp. in naturally infested composts. Microbiology, 148, 1263-1279.
Soanes, D.M., Kershaw, M.J., Cooley, R.N., Talbot, N.J. (2002). Regulation of the MPG1 hydrophobin gene in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea. Mol Plant Microbe Interact, 15(12), 1253-1267.

Abstract:
Regulation of the MPG1 hydrophobin gene in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea.

The hydrophobin-encoding gene MPG1 of the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea is highly expressed during the initial stages of host plant infection and targeted deletion of the gene results in a mutant strain that is reduced in virulence, conidiation, and appressorium formation. The green fluorescent protein-encoding allele sGFP was used as a reporter to investigate regulatory genes that control MPG1 expression. The MAP kinase-encoding gene PMK1 and the wide domain regulators of nitrogen source utilization, NPR1 and NUT1, were required for full expression of MPG1 in response to starvation stress. The CPKA gene, encoding the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A, was required for repression of MPG1 during growth in rich nutrient conditions. During appressorium morphogenesis, high-level MPG1 expression was found to require the CPKA and NPR1 genes. Expression of a destabilized GFP allele indicated that de novo MPG1 expression occurs during appressorium formation. Three regions of the MPG1 promoter were identified which are required for high-level expression of MPG1 during appressorium formation and are necessary for the biological activity of the MPG1 hydrophobin during spore formation and plant infection.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Bindslev, L., Kershaw, M.J., Talbot, N.J., Oliver, R.P. (2001). Complementation of the Magnaporthe grisea Delta cpkA mutation by the Blumeria graminis PKA-c gene: Functional genetic analysis of an obligate plant pathogen. Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions, 14(12), 1368-1375. Author URL
Bindslev, L., Kershaw, M.J., Talbot, N.J., Oliver, R.P. (2001). Complementation of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase a mutant of Magnaporthe grisea by Blumeria graminis PKA-c gene: functional genetic analysis of an obligate biotrophic fungus. Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions, 14, 1368-1375.
Talbot, N.J., Foster, A.J. (2001). Genetics and genomics of the rice blast fungus magnaporthe grisea: Developing an experimental model for understanding fungal diseases of cereals. Advances in Botanical Research, 34, 263-287.
Balhadère, P.V., Talbot, N.J. (2001). PDE1 encodes a P-type ATPase involved in appressorium-mediated plant infection by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea. Plant Cell, 13(9), 1987-2004.

Abstract:
PDE1 encodes a P-type ATPase involved in appressorium-mediated plant infection by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea.

Plant infection by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea is brought about by the action of specialized infection cells called appressoria. These infection cells generate enormous turgor pressure, which is translated into an invasive force that allows a narrow penetration hypha to breach the plant cuticle. The Magnaporthe pde1 mutant was identified previously by restriction enzyme-mediated DNA integration mutagenesis and is impaired in its ability to elaborate penetration hyphae. Here we report that the pde1 mutation is the result of an insertion into the promoter of a P-type ATPase-encoding gene. Targeted gene disruption confirmed the role of PDE1 in penetration hypha development and pathogenicity but highlighted potential differences in PDE1 regulation in different Magnaporthe strains. The predicted PDE1 gene product was most similar to members of the aminophospholipid translocase group of P-type ATPases and was shown to be a functional homolog of the yeast ATPase gene ATC8. Spatial expression studies showed that PDE1 is expressed in germinating conidia and developing appressoria. These findings implicate the action of aminophospholipid translocases in the development of penetration hyphae and the proliferation of the fungus beyond colonization of the first epidermal cell.
 Abstract.  Author URL Full text
Tucker, S.L., Talbot, N.J. (2001). Surface attachment and pre-penetration stage development by plant pathogenic fungi. Annu Rev Phytopathol, 39, 385-417.

Abstract:
Surface attachment and pre-penetration stage development by plant pathogenic fungi.

Fungal pathogens cause many of the most serious crop diseases. One of the principal reasons for the success of this group is their ability to locate and perceive appropriate host surfaces and then to elaborate specialized infection structures. Here we review the processes implicated in surface attachment, germ tube elongation, and development of appressoria. The involvement of surface-acting proteins such as fungal hydrophobins and integrins in these processes is evaluated, along with a description of studies that have revealed the existence of conserved signaling pathways that regulate appressorium formation. Finally, we anticipate the prospect of genome-level analysis of fungal pathogens and the key research questions that will need to be addressed.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Weber, R.W., Wakley, G.E., Thines, E., Talbot, N.J. (2001). The vacuole as central element of the lytic system and sink for lipid droplets in maturing appressoria of Magnaporthe grisea. Protoplasma, 216(1-2), 101-112.

Abstract:
The vacuole as central element of the lytic system and sink for lipid droplets in maturing appressoria of Magnaporthe grisea.

Histochemical and ultrastructural studies were carried out on a wild-type strain (Guy11) and a melanin-deficient mutant (buf1) of the rice-blast pathogen, Magnaporthe grisea (= Pyricularia oryzae), in order to investigate the destination of lipid storage reserves during appressorium development. Lipid droplets were abundant in conidia and were mobilised upon germination, accumulating in the appressorial hook which developed at the tip of each germ tube. Following the formation of a septum at the base of the nascent appressorium, one or a few closely appressed central vacuoles became established and were observed to enlarge in the course of appressorium maturation. On unyielding artificial surfaces such as glass or plastic, appressoria matured to completion within 36-48 h, by which time the enlarged vacuole filled most of the inside volume of the appressorium. Light and transmission electron microscopical observations revealed that the lipid droplets entered the vacuole by autophagocytosis and were degraded therein. Histochemical approaches confirmed the vacuole as the key lytic element in maturing appressoria. Endocytosis of a vital dye, Neutral Red, progressed via endosomes which migrated into the vacuole and lysed there, releasing their dye content into the vacuolar lumen. Furthermore, activity of the lysosomal marker enzyme, acid phosphomonoesterase, was strongly localised in the vacuole at all stages of appressorium maturation. It is therefore envisaged that vacuoles are involved in the degradation of lipid storage reserves which may act as sources of energy and/or osmotically active metabolites such as glycerol, which generate the very high turgor pressure known to be crucial for penetration of hard surfaces. On softer surfaces such as onion epidermis, appressoria of M. grisea were able to penetrate before degradation of lipid droplets had been completed.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Thines, E., Weber, R.W., Talbot, N.J. (2000). MAP kinase and protein kinase A-dependent mobilization of triacylglycerol and glycogen during appressorium turgor generation by Magnaporthe grisea. Plant Cell, 12(9), 1703-1718.

Abstract:
MAP kinase and protein kinase A-dependent mobilization of triacylglycerol and glycogen during appressorium turgor generation by Magnaporthe grisea.

Magnaporthe grisea produces an infection structure called an appressorium, which is used to breach the plant cuticle by mechanical force. Appressoria generate hydrostatic turgor by accumulating molar concentrations of glycerol. To investigate the genetic control and biochemical mechanism for turgor generation, we assayed glycerol biosynthetic enzymes during appressorium development, and the movement of storage reserves was monitored in developmental mutants. Enzymatic activities for glycerol generation from carbohydrate sources were present in appressoria but did not increase during development. In contrast, triacylglycerol lipase activity increased during appressorium maturation. Rapid glycogen degradation occurred during conidial germination, followed by accumulation in incipient appressoria and dissolution before turgor generation. Lipid droplets also moved to the incipient appressorium and coalesced into a central vacuole before degrading at the onset of turgor generation. Glycogen and lipid mobilization did not occur in a Deltapmk1 mutant, which lacked the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) required for appressorium differentiation, and was retarded markedly in a DeltacpkA mutant, which lacks the catalytic subunit of cAMP-dependent protein kinase a (PKA). Glycogen and lipid degradation were very rapid in a Deltamac1 sum1-99 mutant, which carries a mutation in the regulatory subunit of PKA, occurring before appressorium morphogenesis was complete. Mass transfer of storage carbohydrate and lipid reserves to the appressorium therefore occurs under control of the PMK1 MAPK pathway. Turgor generation then proceeds by compartmentalization and rapid degradation of lipid and glycogen reserves under control of the CPKA/SUM1-encoded PKA holoenzyme.
 Abstract.  Author URL Full text
Hurst, S., Talbot, N.J., Stebbings, H. (1999). A staufen-like RNA-binding protein in translocation channels linking nurse cells to oocytes in Notonecta shows nucleotide-dependent attachment to microtubules. J Cell Sci, 112 ( Pt 17), 2947-2955.

Abstract:
A staufen-like RNA-binding protein in translocation channels linking nurse cells to oocytes in Notonecta shows nucleotide-dependent attachment to microtubules.

In Drosophila melanogaster the staufen gene encodes an RNA-binding protein that is essential for the correct localization of certain nurse cell-derived transcripts in oocytes. Although the mechanism underlying mRNA localization is unknown, mRNA-staufen complexes have been shown to move in a microtubule-dependent manner, and it has been suggested that staufen associates with a motor protein which generates the movement. We have investigated this possibility using Notonecta glauca in which nurse cells also supply the oocytes with mRNA, but via greatly extended nutritive tubes comprised of large aggregates of parallel microtubules. Using a staufen peptide antibody and RNA probes we have identified a staufen-like protein, which specifically binds double-stranded RNA, in the nutritive tubes of Notonecta. We show that while the staufen-like protein does not co-purify with microtubules from ovaries using standard procedures it does so under conditions of motor-entrapment, specifically in the presence of AMP-PNP. We also show that the staufen-like protein is subsequently removed by ATP and GTP, but not ADP. Nucleotide-dependent binding to microtubules is typical of a motor-mediated interaction and the pattern of attachment and detachment of the staufen-like protein correlates with that of a kinesin protein within the ovaries. Our findings indicate that the staufen-like RNA-binding protein attaches to, and is transported along, Notonecta ovarian microtubules by a kinesin motor.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Talbot, N.J. (1999). Coming up for air and sporulation. Nature, 398(6725), 295-296.
Talbot, N.J. (1999). Forcible entry. Science, 285(5435), 1860-1861.
Talbot, N.J. (1999). Fungal biology - Coming up for air and sporulation. Nature, 398(6725), 295-296. Author URL
Dixon, K.P., Xu, J.R., Smirnoff, N., Talbot, N.J. (1999). Independent signaling pathways regulate cellular turgor during hyperosmotic stress and appressorium-mediated plant infection by Magnaporthe grisea. Plant Cell, 11(10), 2045-2058.

Abstract:
Independent signaling pathways regulate cellular turgor during hyperosmotic stress and appressorium-mediated plant infection by Magnaporthe grisea.

The phytopathogenic fungus Magnaporthe grisea elaborates a specialized infection cell called an appressorium with which it mechanically ruptures the plant cuticle. To generate mechanical force, appressoria produce enormous hydrostatic turgor by accumulating molar concentrations of glycerol. To investigate the genetic control of cellular turgor, we analyzed the response of M. grisea to hyperosmotic stress. During acute and chronic hyperosmotic stress adaptation, M. grisea accumulates arabitol as its major compatible solute in addition to smaller quantities of glycerol. A mitogen-activated protein kinase-encoding gene OSM1 was isolated from M. grisea and shown to encode a functional homolog of HIGH-OSMOLARITY GLYCEROL1 (HOG1), which encodes a mitogen-activated protein kinase that regulates cellular turgor in yeast. A null mutation of OSM1 was generated in M. grisea by targeted gene replacement, and the resulting mutants were sensitive to osmotic stress and showed morphological defects when grown under hyperosmotic conditions. M. grisea deltaosm1 mutants showed a dramatically reduced ability to accumulate arabitol in the mycelium. Surprisingly, glycerol accumulation and turgor generation in appressoria were unaltered by the Deltaosm1 null mutation, and the mutants were fully pathogenic. This result indicates that independent signal transduction pathways regulate cellular turgor during hyperosmotic stress and appressorium-mediated plant infection. Consistent with this, exposure of M. grisea appressoria to external hyperosmotic stress induced OSM1-dependent production of arabitol.
 Abstract.  Author URL Full text
Stephen, S., Talbot, N.J., Stebbings, H. (1999). Poly(A) mRNA is attached to insect ovarian microtubules in vivo in a nucleotide-sensitive manner. Cell Motil Cytoskeleton, 43(2), 159-166.

Abstract:
Poly(A) mRNA is attached to insect ovarian microtubules in vivo in a nucleotide-sensitive manner.

In ovarioles of hemipteran insects, RNA passes from anteriorly positioned nurse cells to the chain of developing oocytes via extended nutritive tubes. These intercellular connections may reach several millimeters in length. Each nutritive tube is comprised of many thousands of parallel microtubules. We have extracted microtubule bundles from isolated nutritive tubes of Notonecta glauca and, using hybridization techniques, provide evidence of poly(A) mRNA attachment to microtubules in vivo. We also show this attachment to be nucleotide-sensitive, which is typical of a motor protein-mediated interaction. The pattern of nucleotide sensistivity is indicative of a kinesin motor mechanism. We provide evidence that a kinesin is present in the nutritive tube translocation channels and is a component of the mRNA/microtubule bundles isolated and extracted from them. Our findings are consistent with kinesin-driven transport of mRNA along the nutritive tube microtubules.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Kershaw, M.J., Wakley, G., Talbot, N.J. (1998). Complementation of the mpg1 mutant phenotype in Magnaporthe grisea reveals functional relationships between fungal hydrophobins. Embo J, 17(14), 3838-3849.

Abstract:
Complementation of the mpg1 mutant phenotype in Magnaporthe grisea reveals functional relationships between fungal hydrophobins.

The functional relationship between fungal hydrophobins was studied by complementation analysis of an mpg1(-) gene disruption mutant in Magnaporthe grisea. MPG1 encodes a hydrophobin required for full pathogenicity of the fungus, efficient elaboration of its infection structures and conidial rodlet protein production. Seven heterologous hydrophobin genes were selected which play distinct roles in conidiogenesis, fruit body development, aerial hyphae formation and infection structure elaboration in diverse fungal species. Each hydrophobin was introduced into an mpg1(-) mutant by transformation. Only one hydrophobin gene, SC1 from Schizophyllum commune, was able partially to complement mpg1(-) mutant phenotypes when regulated by its own promoter. In contrast, six of the transformants expressing hydrophobin genes controlled by the MPG1 promoter (SC1 and SC4 from S.commune, rodA and dewA from Aspergillus nidulans, EAS from Neurospora crassa and ssgA from Metarhizium anisopliae) could partially complement each of the diverse functions of MPG1. Complementation was always associated with partial restoration of a rodlet protein layer, characteristic of the particular hydrophobin being expressed, and with hydrophobin surface assembly during infection structure formation. This provides the first genetic evidence that diverse hydrophobin-encoding genes encode functionally related proteins and suggests that, although very diverse in amino acid sequence, the hydrophobins constitute a closely related group of morphogenetic proteins.
 Abstract.  Author URL Full text
Kershaw, M.J., Talbot, N.J. (1998). Hydrophobins and repellents: proteins with fundamental roles in fungal morphogenesis. Fungal Genet Biol, 23(1), 18-33.

Abstract:
Hydrophobins and repellents: proteins with fundamental roles in fungal morphogenesis.

Fungal hydrophobins are secreted proteins which react to interfaces between fungal cell walls and the air or between fungal cell walls and solid surfaces. They have been shown to be important in many morphogenetic processes, including sporulation, fruit body development, and infection structure formation. Hydrophobins form hydrophobic surface layers by self-assembly of secreted protein monomers in response to the environment. This process results in amphipathic polymers of interwoven rodlets on surfaces of fungal aerial structures and hyphal aggregations. Hydrophobin self-assembly is also involved in attachment of hyphae to hydrophobic surfaces and this may act as a conformational cue for certain developmental processes. Although hydrophobins appear to be ubiquitous among fungal taxa, a second class of fungal protein with very different biochemical characteristics could fulfill a similar role. These proteins, called repellents, have been identified in only one fungal species so far, but clearly help to make aerial hyphae hydrophobic. The functional similarities between hydrophobins and repellents highlight the importance of aerial development to the fungal lifestyle.
 Abstract.  Author URL
McCafferty, H.R., Talbot, N.J. (1998). Identification of three ubiquitin genes of the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea, one of which is highly expressed during initial stages of plant colonisation. Curr Genet, 33(5), 352-361.

Abstract:
Identification of three ubiquitin genes of the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea, one of which is highly expressed during initial stages of plant colonisation.

Differential cDNA screening was used to identify genes expressed during the colonisation of rice leaves by the pathogenic fungus Magnaporthe grisea. This led to the identification of a gene, called UEP1, which encodes a ubiquitin extension protein. UEP1 was highly expressed 48 h after initial fungal infection of rice leaves when M. grisea is proliferating in the leaf epidermis but not yet causing disease symptoms. UEP1 appeared to be down-regulated after this time despite further extensive growth of the fungus throughout the leaf tissue. To investigate the potential role of ubiquitin in fungal pathogenesis we subsequently isolated UEP3 and PUB4, encoding a second ubiquitin extension protein and a polyubiquitin respectively. UEP1 was expressed abundantly during active growth of M. grisea in axenic culture but was down-regulated by starvation-stress. UEP3 showed a similar pattern of expression to UEP1 during the growth of M. grisea in culture and after environmental stress, but was not highly expressed during plant colonisation. PUB4 was highly expressed after environmental stress, but was not highly expressed during plant colonisation. UEP1 was found to be present in a much-higher copy number per haploid genome compared to UEP3 and PUB4. The restricted high-level expression of UEP1 suggests that M. grisea undergoes rapid ribosomal biogenesis and protein turnover during initial plant-tissue colonisation, which is regulated by a specific UEP1-encoded component of the M. grisea ubiquitin gene family.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Talbot, N.J. (1997). Fungal biology: Growing into the air. Current Biology, 7(2), R78-R81.
De Jong, J.C., McCormack, B.J., Smirnoff, N., Talbot, N.J. (1997). Glycerol generates turgor in rice blast [5]. Nature, 389(6648), 244-245.
Talbot, N.J. (1997). Growing into the air. Curr Biol, 7(2), R78-R81.

Abstract:
Growing into the air.

Fungi must grow into the air for reproduction and spore dispersal, and to do this their hyphae contain morphogenetic proteins that respond to the aerial environment. The recent discovery of &apos;repellent&apos; proteins, however, suggests fungi have more than one mechanism for aerial development.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Talbot, N.J., Kershaw, M.J., Wakley, G.E., De Vries, O., Wessels, J., Hamer, J.E. (1996). MPG1 Encodes a Fungal Hydrophobin Involved in Surface Interactions during Infection-Related Development of Magnaporthe grisea. Plant Cell, 8(6), 985-999.

Abstract:
MPG1 Encodes a Fungal Hydrophobin Involved in Surface Interactions during Infection-Related Development of Magnaporthe grisea.

The rice blast fungus expresses a pathogenicity gene, MPG1, during appressorium formation, disease symptom development, and conidiation. The MPG1 gene sequence predicts a small protein belonging to a family of fungal proteins designated hydrophobins. Using random ascospore analysis and genetic complementation, we showed that MPG1 is necessary for infection-related development of Magnaporthe grisea on rice leaves and for full pathogenicity toward susceptible rice cultivars. The protein product of MPG1 appears to interact with hydrophobic surfaces, where it may act as a developmental sensor for appressorium formation. Ultrastructural studies revealed that MPG1 directs formation of a rodlet layer on conidia composed of interwoven ~5-nm rodlets, which contributes to their surface hydrophobicity. Using combined genetic and biochemical approaches, we identified a 15-kD secreted protein with characteristics that establish it as a class I hydrophobin. The protein is able to form detergent-insoluble high molecular mass complexes, is soluble in trifluoroacetic acid, and exhibits mobility shifts after treatment with performic acid. The production of this protein is directed by MPG1.
 Abstract.  Author URL Full text
Talbot, N.J., Vincent, P., Wildman, H.G. (1996). The influence of genotype and environment on the physiological and metabolic diversity of Fusarium compactum. Fungal Genet Biol, 20(4), 254-267.

Abstract:
The influence of genotype and environment on the physiological and metabolic diversity of Fusarium compactum.

Fungal species produce a large variety of secondary metabolites which are of considerable interest to the pharmaceutical industry. It is clear that the secondary metabolite production of a species varies significantly in strains from different geographic locations and from different habitats. The influence of genotype and environment on metabolite production is, however, poorly understood. In this study we examined the influence of genotypic variability, physiological variability, environmental location, and habitat on metabolite production by Fusarium compactum. Isolates of the fungus from two geographic locations and two distinct habitat types were examined for growth on 95 different carbon sources, and genotypic variability was determined using RAPDs and rDNA-RFLP analysis. In a blind test secondary metabolite production was assessed using HPLC profiles of methanolic cell extracts. A number of correlations were observed between genotypic groupings, as determined using parsimony, and specific metabolic production. Similar correlations were also observed with physiological groups although genotypic analysis proved to be a more sensitive predictor of metabolite variability. The data suggest a complex relationship between environment, genotype, and metabolite production but highlight the use of genetic screening as a means of optimizing the changes of identifying a wide range of metabolites from a given species.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Talbot, N.J. (1995). Having a blast: exploring the pathogenicity of Magnaporthe grisea. Trends Microbiol, 3(1), 9-16.

Abstract:
Having a blast: exploring the pathogenicity of Magnaporthe grisea.

The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea has an exquisite level of pathogenic specialization, allowing it to infect and colonize rice, subvert the metabolism of the host and spread to new hosts. Through a combination of cytology and molecular-genetic analysis, a picture is gradually emerging of the many interlinked processes that are required for successful infection of the plant.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Stebbings, H., Lane, J.D., Talbot, N.J. (1995). mRNA translocation and microtubules: insect ovary models. Trends Cell Biol, 5(9), 361-365.

Abstract:
mRNA translocation and microtubules: insect ovary models.

The nurse cells in insect ovarioles supply the developing oocytes with various cellular components, including mRNAs, which pass from one cell to the other through intercellular bridges traversed by microtubules. Best studied of these mRNAs are those that encode the axis-determining factors in Drosophila embryos. These mRNAs are further translocated and localized within the oocyte to sites where the products of their translation will ultimately function. This article explores the evidence supportive of a role for microtubules and motor proteins in these processes.
 Abstract.  Author URL
Chapters
Gilbert, M.J., Soanes, D.M., Kershaw, M.J. (2006). Functional genomic analysis of pathogenicity in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea in Gadd GM (ed) Fungi in the Environment, Cambridge University Press.
Soanes, D.M., Barooah, M.J., Talbot, N.J. (2005). Investigating the evolution of fungal virulence by functional genomics. In Brown AJP (ed) The Mycota Vol XII. Fungal Genomics, Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Soanes, D., Talbot, N.J. (2004). Functional Genomics of the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea. In Elsevier BV (ed) Fungal Genomics, Applied Mycology and Biotechnology Volume 4,.
Conferences
Richards, T., Soanes, D.M., Foster, P.G., Leonard, G., Talbot, N.J. (2009). The role of horizontal gene transfer in the evolution of trophic mechanisms across the eukaryotes. , 153A(2), S165-S165. Author URL
Merlotti, C., Riba-Garcia, I., Gaskell, S.J., Yin, Z.K., Brown, A., Cash, P., Hayes, A., Talbot, N.J., Brass, A., Paton, N., et al (2003). COGEME - Consortium for the functional genomics of microbial eukaryotes: Facilities for the functional analysis of microbial genomes. , 20, S341-S341. Author URL
Thines, E., Eilbert, F., Anke, H., Sterner, O., Talbot, N.J. (2000). Inhibition of signal transduction leading to appressorium formation in Magnaporthe grisea by glisoprenins. , 15, 267-270.

Abstract:
Inhibition of signal transduction leading to appressorium formation in Magnaporthe grisea by glisoprenins

From submerged cultures of the deuteromycete Gliocladium roseum, strain HA190-95, glisoprenins A, C, D and E were isolated as inhibitors of appressorium formation in Magnaporthe grisea. The compounds inhibited formation of infection structures on hydrophobic, stimulating surfaces. Glisoprenin E was ten times less active compared to the other glisoprenins. Formation of appressoria on nonstimulating surfaces, induced by the cAMP analogue s-(4-chloro-phenylthio)adenosine-3&apos;,5&apos;-monophosphate or by 1,16-hexadecanediol, a plant wax component. was not affected by glisoprenins, indicating that at least two signal transduction pathways are involved in appressorium formation in M, grisea. Inhibition of appressorium development by glisoprenins on hydrophobic surface could he reversed in a competitive manner by 1,2-dioctanoylglycerol, a known activator of protein kinase C (PKC) but not by 1-oleoyl-2-acetylglycerol, the most effective inducer of PKC in mammalian cells.
 Abstract.
Foster, A.J., Talbot, N.J. (2000). The role of carbohydrates in the pathogenicity of the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea. , 15, 271-280. Author URL
Talbot, N.J. (1998). Molecular variability of fungal pathogens: Using the rice blast fungus as a case study. , 1-18. Author URL

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