A proposed new classification scheme for fungal and oomycete pathogens based on carbohydrate-active enzymes (Front. Microbiol)

Filamentous pathogens (fungi and oomycetes) use a variety of tactics to obtain nutrients from plants. Classically, they have been categorized as biotrophic (“eating” living tissues), nectrotrophic (eating dead tissues) or hemibiotrophic (biotrophic followed by heterotrophic). Hane et al. point out that these categories are imperfect and difficult to asssign and propose a new approach, based on the organisms’ suite of carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes). The rationale is that these enzymes break down carbohydrates including the cell wall, and should reveal something about how the pathogens access nutrients. Based on this approach, the authors argue for new and additional categories for these pathogens. (Summary by Mary Williams) Frontiers Microbiol. 10.3389/fmicb.2019.03088

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