Extracellular Materials of Fungal Structures: Their Significance at Prepenetration Stages of Infection

  • Hitoshi Kunoh
  • Ralph L. Nicholson
  • Issei Kobayashi


Historically, mechanisms of fungal infection have attracted plant pathologists, and our understanding of infection processes has been increased significantly for many disease interactions. Fungi generally undergo a series of distinct morphological changes before attempting host penetration. To date, most studies on infection processes deal with penetration and post-penetration stages of fungal development. However, several observations suggest that phenomena associated with initial stages of fungal contact on host surfaces play a critical role in host recognition, fungal differentiation, and success of infection [1, 13, 20, 26, 37, 38, 44, 64, 65, 73–76]. Since infection processes may be initiated soon after contact, prepenetration phenomena necessary for infection can easily be overlooked. One of these early prepenetration events is adhesion. The mechanisms of fungal adhesion are not as well understood as are those for bacterial adhesion [76]. Nicholson and Epstein [51] reviewed adhesion by plant pathogenic fungi and discussed mechanisms known to be involved in adhesion, as well as the broader topic of extracellular fungal matrices. The purpose of this review is to address cytological aspects of extracellular materials associated with fungal adhesion, and the subject of recognition between fungal and host cells.


Powdery Mildew Germ Tube Extracellular Material Host Cuticle Reticulate Network 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hitoshi Kunoh
    • 1
  • Ralph L. Nicholson
    • 2
  • Issei Kobayashi
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Plant Pathology, Faculty of BioresourcesMie UniversityTsu, 514Japan
  2. 2.Department of Botany and Plant PathologyPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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