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Fertility Goddesses as Trojan Horses

Authors
  • Govers, F.
  • Angenent, G.C.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2010
Source
Wageningen University and Researchcenter Publications
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown
External links

Abstract

Tip growth is similar in many features in plants and fungi. The tube-like structures that emerge from both plant pollen grains and fungal spores, for instance, exhibit “polarized” cell growth that enables rapid elongation. It is not surprising that, before the 19th century, researchers believed that emerging pollen tubes were invading fungal parasites. On page 968 of this issue, Kessler et al. (1) show that this similarity extends beyond looks: Both pollen tubes and fungi exploit similar receptor proteins that function either as goddesses of fertility that enable fertilization—or as Trojan horses that enable pathogenic fungi to invade plant tissues.

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