Molecular Plant Pathology – Pathogen Profiles

Colletotrichum: tales of forcible entry, stealth, transient confinement and
breakout

Akinwunmi O. Latunde-Dada
Department of Plant Pathology, IACR-Rothamsted, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ, UK.

Taxonomy:Imperfect, anamorphic fungus (subdivision Deuteromycotina, form-class Deuteromycetes, form-subclass Coelomycetidae, form-order Melanconiales, form-family Melanconiaceae) with 39 ‘accepted’ species [Sutton, B.C. (1992) The genus Glomerella and its anamorph Colletotrichum. In: Colletotrichum: Biology, Pathology and Control (Bailey, J.A. and Leger, M.J., eds). Wallingford, UK: CAB International, pp. 1-26.] which continue to be revised and clarified by molecular taxonomic techniques. Species complexes and subspecific groups have been proposed.
Host range:Species of Colletotrichum attack a large number of important tropical and sub-tropical crop species and cause economically significant diseases of cereals, grain legumes, vegetables, forage legumes, fruit crops and perennial crops. Tropical and sub-tropical fruit production is significantly affected by postharvest anthracnose.
Disease symptoms:Symptoms of the attack are commonly known as anthracnose and comprise dark, sunken, lenticular necrotic lesions containing the acervuli of the pathogen.
Key attractions:A model fungus for research on host specificity, mycoherbicides, appressorial melanization, appressorial function, quiescent infection, fungal lifestyles, intracellular hemibiotrophy and the determinants of the switch from biotrophy to necrotrophy among others