Plant Pathology Department


Date of this Version



Published in Archives of Microbiology 170 (1998), pp. 395–404. Copyright © Springer-Verlag 1998. Used by permission.


The cAMP signal transduction pathway controls a wide variety of processes in fungi. For example, considerable progress has been made in describing the involvement of cAMP pathway components in the control of morphogenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Ustilago maydis, and Magnaporthe grisea. These morphological processes include the establishment of filamentous growth in S. cerevisiae and U. maydis, and the differentiation of an appressorial infection structure in M. grisea. The discovery that appressorium formation requires cAMP signaling provides an immediate connection to fungal virulence. This connection may have broader implications among fungal pathogens because recent work indicates that cAMP signaling controls the expression of virulence traits in the human pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. In this fungus, cAMP also influences mating, as has been found for Schizosaccharomyces pombe and as may occur in U. maydis. Finally, cAMP and mitogen- activated protein kinase pathways appear to function coordinately to control the response of certain fungi, e.g., Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, to environmental stress. There are clues that interconnections between these pathways may be common in the control of many fungal processes.