Cellular signaling and cytoskeleton dynamics in Phytophthora

F. Govers, D.J. van den Hoogen, K. Kots, T. Ketelaar

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Sensing external signals and transducing these into intracellular responses
requires a balanced cellular organization that is largely governed by signal
transduction pathways and cytoskeleton dynamics. We aim to gain more
insight in these processes in Phytophthora species, oomycete plant pathogens
that cause devastating diseases worldwide. Our studies have shown that
Phytophthora spp. and other oomycetes possess unique classes of
GPCR-bigrams, proteins in which a G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR)
domain is linked to an accessory domain. Examples are GPCR-PIPKs that
have a phosphatidylinositol kinase (PIPK) domain as accessory domain. This
points to a direct connection between the two most important eukaryotic
signaling pathways, G-protein signaling and phospholipid signaling. In yeast
PIP2 generated by PIPK influences actin dynamics but in Phytophthora the
relation between PIP2, PIPK and actin is unknown. Actin is a major
component of the cytoskeleton, a well-organized, dynamic system of
intracellular filaments primary composed of actin and tubulin. Previously we
identified actin plaques as highly immobile, long-lived structures that are
unique for oomycetes. In addition, we found two other unique actin
configurations; one associated with plug deposition in germ tubes and the
other with appressoria, infection structures formed prior to host cell
penetration. Here we will present an update on GPCR-bigrams, the functional analyses of the Gγ subunit of the heterotrimeric G-protein, and new insights in
nuclear division based on life cell imaging of the microtubule cytoskeleton.
Our long-term goal is to uncover oomycete or Phytophthora specific features
that might be instrumental for drug design.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventOomycete Molecular Genetics Network Meeting 2018 - Taian, Shandong, China
Duration: 8 Apr 201812 Apr 2018


ConferenceOomycete Molecular Genetics Network Meeting 2018
CityTaian, Shandong


Dive into the research topics of 'Cellular signaling and cytoskeleton dynamics in Phytophthora'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this