Live-cell imaging of conidial fusion in the bean pathogen, Colletotrichum lindemuthianum

Francine H. Ishikawa, Elaine A. Souza, Nick D. Read, M. Gabriela Roca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Fusion of conidia and conidial germlings by means of conidial anastomosis tubes (CATS) is a common phenomenon in filamentous fungi, including many plant pathogens. It has a number of different roles, and has been speculated to facilitate parasexual recombination and horizontal gene transfer between species. The bean pathogen Colletotrichum lindemuthianum naturally undergoes CAT fusion on the host surface and within asexual fruiting bodies in anthracnose lesions on its host. It has not been previously possible to analyze the whole process of CAT fusion in this or any other pathogen using live-cell imaging techniques. Here we report the development of a robust protocol for doing this with C. lindemuthianum in vitro. The percentage of conidial germination and CAT fusion was found to be dependent on culture age, media and the fungal strain used. Increased CAT fusion was correlated with reduced germ tube formation. We show time-lapse imaging of the whole process of CAT fusion in C. lindemuthianum for the first time and monitored nuclear migration through fused CATs using nuclei labelled with GFP. CAT fusion in this pathogen was found to exhibit significant differences to that in the model system Neurospora crassa. In contrast to N. crassa, CAT fusion in C. lindemuthianum is inhibited by nutrients (it only occurs in water) and the process takes considerably longer. (C) 2009 The British Mycological Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-9
Number of pages8
JournalFungal Biology
Issue number1
Early online date11 Dec 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • CAT
  • Colletotrichum lindemuthianum
  • Conidial anastomosis tube
  • Germ tube
  • GFP
  • Live-cell imaging
  • Neurospora crassa
  • Spore germination


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