The actin cytoskeleton in Phytophthora infestans in free living mycelium and infection

H.J.G. Meijer, K. Kots, C. Hua, F. Govers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


The actin cytoskeleton is a dynamic but well organized intracellular framework that is indispensable for proper functioning of eukaryotic cells. The plethora of functions ranges from facilitating transport of vesicles, muscle contraction, formation of contractile rings, nuclear segregation, endocytosis and facilitating apical cell expansions. To visualize the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton in the oomycete Phytophthora infestans we generated transformants expressing the actin binding peptide Lifeact-eGFP as an in vivo marker. Fluorescence microscopy revealed that all actin structures in P. infestans hyphae, including actin filament cables and actin filament plaques, are cortically localized. The actin filament plaques are distributed over the hyphae but their presence in the hyphal tip is related to hyphal tip growth. They are nearly immobile with an extremely long lifespan when compared to that of actin patches in other eukaryotes and their disassembly is not accompanied with internalization and the formation of endocytic vesicles as is the case with actin patches in yeast. We also investigated the in vivo actin cytoskeleton dynamics during growth in a low nutrient environment and during early stages of pathogenesis such as appressorium formation and infection. Our observations suggest that the actin cytoskeleton performs a variety of regulatory roles during distinct life stages of P. infestans. Future efforts will focus at identifying interactors and key regulators of the actin cytoskeleton and pinpoint features in the actin network that are unique for oomycetes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts Oomycete Molecular Genetics Network Meeting
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event2014 OMGN Meeting, Norwich, UK -
Duration: 2 Jul 20144 Jul 2014


Conference2014 OMGN Meeting, Norwich, UK


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