Author(s): Chen N, Hsiang T, Goodwin PH
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Abstract To develop a quantitative assay of fungal growth inside plant tissues, strains of Colletotrichum destructivum and Colletotrichum orbiculare were transformed with a modified green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene fused with a glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase promoter from Aspergillus nidulans. Transformants expressed GFP in culture and had the same growth rate and general appearance as the wild type. GFP was observed in all fungal structures during infection of leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana, except for the melanized appressoria and setae. The timing and appearance of the fungal structures in the host appeared to be identical to that of the wild type. GFP accumulation in inoculated leaves of N. benthamiana was quantified in leaf extracts using a fluorescence microplate reader, and the quantity of fluorescence was strongly correlated with the growth of the fungus as measured by the amount of fungal actin gene expression using Northern blot hybridizations. These results demonstrated that assaying green fluorescence levels from a GFP-transformed fungus is an accurate, fast and easy means of quantifying fungal growth inside host plant cells.
This article was published in J Microbiol Methods
and referenced in Cell & Developmental Biology