The distribution and expression of a biotrophy-related gene, CIH1, within the genus Colletotrichum
O'Connell RJ., Green JR.
During the biotrophic phase of the infection process of the hemibiotrophic anthracnose fungus Colletotrichum lindemuthianum, an intracellular hypha develops within epidermal cells of its host, Phaseolus vulgaris. This is followed by the formation of secondary hyphae during the necrotrophic phase. Previous work using a monoclonal antibody, UB25, has identified a glycoprotein that is specific to the interfacial matrix that forms between the wall of the intracellular hypha and the invaginated host plasma membrane. The gene encoding the protein identified by UB25 was cloned by immunoscreening and designated CIH1.The predicted amino acid sequence revealed a proline-rich glycoprotein, and biochemical evidence suggested that it formed a cross-linked structure at the biotrophic interface. Although CIH1 is a fungal gene, its product has several similarities to plant cell wall proteins. In this paper, we have surveyed the distribution and expression of CIH1 within the genus Colletotrichum, encompassing both necrotrophic and hemibiotrophic species. The results show that homologues of the CIH1 gene are present in all the Colletotrichum species tested. Northern blot studies of the time course of the infection process in planta have shown that CIH1 is expressed by both C. lindemuthianum in bean and C. trifolii in alfalfa during the biotrophic phase of fungal development, Immunofluorescence labelling of infected epidermal strips with UB25 revealed that the intracellular hyphae formed by C. destructivum as it infects alfalfa were specifically labelled in a similar way to those formed by C. lindemuthianum in bean. Northern and Western analysis showed that CIH1 was also expressed by C. lindemuthianum in vitro, though not constitutively. Overall, the evidence supports a role for CIH1 in biotrophy within the genus Colletotrichum.