Key wordsUstilago maydis
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The heterobasidiomycetes responsible for plant smuts obligatorily require their hosts for the completion of the sexual cycle. Accordingly, the sexual cycle of these fungi could so far be studied only by infecting host plants. We have now induced Ustilago maydis, the causative agent of corn smut, to traverse the whole life cycle by growing mixtures of mating-compatible strains of the fungus on a porous membrane placed on top of embryogenic cell cultures of its host Zea mays. Under these conditions, mating, karyogamy and meiosis take place, and the fungus induces differentiation of the plant cells. These results suggest that embryogenic maize cells produce diffusible compounds needed for completion of the sexual cycle of U. maydis, as the plant does for the pathogen during infection.
Type of Medium: