Date of this Version
Mycologia, 97(4), 2005, pp. 880–887.
Fusarium graminearum (teleomorph Gibberella zeae) is a significant pathogen of wheat and corn. F. graminearum forms multicellular macroconidia that play an important role in dissemination of the disease. The spatial pattern of morphogenesis in germinating macroconidia is described. Germ tubes preferentially emerge from the apical cells in a bipolar pattern that appears to be common to filamentous fungi. Chitin deposition occurs at two locations: the spore apices and cortical regions of macroconidial cells that subsequently produce a germ tube. The spatial pattern of morphogenesis requires the presence of functional microtubules, which may be responsible for the transport of key polarity factors to specific sites. These observations suggest that F. graminearum possesses a regulatory system that marks germ tube emergence sites. Perturbation of this system may represent an effective approach for inhibiting colonization of host plant surfaces.