Indian Phytopathology

, Volume 71, Issue 2, pp 169–182 | Cite as

Understanding photoreception in fungi and its role in fungal development with focus on phytopathogenic fungi

  • Tarlochan S. ThindEmail author
  • Annemiek C. Schilder
Review Article


Like other environmental factors, light can influence various developmental processes in fungal species. Most of the fungi can respond to different wavelengths of light such as blue (475 nm), near UV (300–380 nm) and red light (650 nm). Blue light has been found to be the most associated light quality with fungal development. The most commonly investigated photoregulatory receptors in fungi are the white collar complex proteins (WC-1, WC-2) in the light oxygen voltage domain which sense and regulate the effects of blue light on fungal development and reproduction. The sequencing of several fungal genomes has led to the identification of other photoreceptor genes and their products, such as phytochromes (for red light), cryptochromes (for blue light) and blue and green light absorbing rhodopsins in some ascomycetes and basidiomycetes. Although similar types of regulatory mechanisms appear to be involved in signalling light responses in fungal species, nevertheless, there may be other hitherto undiscovered mechanisms responsible for regulating light perception. It warrants further investigations on photoreception in more fungal species including plant pathogenic fungi to better understand the underlying mechanisms controlling light perception at the metabolic level. Certain circadian rhythms have been found to play crucial role in fungal perception and adaptation to light. The information has led to the use of certain photoselective materials for control of some plant diseases.


Circadian rhythms Fungi Light signalling Photoreceptors Responses Spectral quality 


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© Indian Phytopathological Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial SciencesMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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