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Common processes in pathogenesis by fungal and oomycete plant pathogens, described with Gene Ontology terms

By Shaowu Meng, Trudy Torto-Alalibo, Marcus C Chibucos, Brett M Tyler and Ralph A Dean


Plant diseases caused by fungi and oomycetes result in significant economic losses every year. Although phylogenetically distant, the infection processes by these organisms share many common features. These include dispersal of an infectious particle, host adhesion, recognition, penetration, invasive growth, and lesion development. Previously, many of these common processes did not have corresponding Gene Ontology (GO) terms. For example, no GO terms existed to describe processes related to the appressorium, an important structure for infection by many fungi and oomycetes. In this mini-review, we identify common features of the pathogenic processes of fungi and oomycetes and create a pathogenesis model using 256 newly developed and 38 extant GO terms, with an emphasis on the appressorium and signal transduction. This set of standardized GO terms provides a solid base to further compare and contrast the molecular underpinnings of fungal and oomycete pathogenesis

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Publisher: BioMed Central
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