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Molecules 2016, 21(8), 980; doi:10.3390/molecules21080980

Lutein, a Natural Carotenoid, Induces α-1,3-Glucan Accumulation on the Cell Wall Surface of Fungal Plant Pathogens

Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, 2-1-2 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8602, Japan
Present Address: Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, 1-2 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0106, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marcello Iriti
Received: 18 January 2016 / Revised: 21 July 2016 / Accepted: 25 July 2016 / Published: 28 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Metabolites)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2842 KB, uploaded 28 July 2016]   |  


α-1,3-Glucan, a component of the fungal cell wall, is a refractory polysaccharide for most plants. Previously, we showed that various fungal plant pathogens masked their cell wall surfaces with α-1,3-glucan to evade plant immunity. This surface accumulation of α-1,3-glucan was infection specific, suggesting that plant factors might induce its production in fungi. Through immunofluorescence observations of fungal cell walls, we found that carrot (Daucus carota) extract induced the accumulation of α-1,3-glucan on germlings in Colletotrichum fioriniae, a polyphagous fungal pathogen that causes anthracnose disease in various dicot plants. Bioassay-guided fractionation of carrot leaf extract successfully identified two active substances that caused α-1,3-glucan accumulation in this fungus: lutein, a carotenoid widely distributed in plants, and stigmasterol, a plant-specific membrane component. Lutein, which had a greater effect on C. fioriniae, also induced α-1,3-glucan accumulation in other Colletotrichum species and in the phylogenetically distant rice pathogen Cochliobolus miyabeanus, but not in the rice pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae belonging to the same phylogenetic subclass as Colletotrichum. Our results suggested that fungal plant pathogens reorganize their cell wall components in response to specific plant-derived compounds, which these pathogens may encounter during infection. View Full-Text
Keywords: α-1,3-glucan; bioassay-guided isolation; carotenoid; cell wall; fungal pathogen; sterol α-1,3-glucan; bioassay-guided isolation; carotenoid; cell wall; fungal pathogen; sterol

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Otaka, J.; Seo, S.; Nishimura, M. Lutein, a Natural Carotenoid, Induces α-1,3-Glucan Accumulation on the Cell Wall Surface of Fungal Plant Pathogens. Molecules 2016, 21, 980.

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