Phycomyces response to light

The sporangiophore is bending toward light entering the picture from the left. This example of how a fungal cell responds to the environment was one of the very first to be studied by genetic methods, pioneered by Nobel laureate Max Delbruck. Image: Corrochano et al. Current Biology (2016) with permission.

symptoms of southern corn leaf blight

Fungal pathogen of maize – Southern Corn Leaf Blight

Southern corn leaf blight fungus growing between leaf cells of the host plant. ChAP1 in the nucleus

The fungus attacks the plant and encounters plant defenses, including an oxidative burst. The fungus responds to the oxidants by expressing genes for enzymes with antioxidant activities.

This response is programmed by transcription factors. By genetic engineering, we tagged one of these, called ChAP1, with the green fluorescent protein Gfp. Gfp-ChAP1 is visible in the nuclei of the fungi. The chloroplasts of the leaf cells are visible by their red fluorescence.