Protein glycosylation during infection by plant pathogenic fungi

Caiyun Liu, Nicholas J. Talbot, Xiao‐Lin Chen

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Glycosylation is a conserved set of post‐translational modifications that exists in all eukaryotic cells. During the last decade, the role of glycosylation in plant pathogenic fungi has received significant attention and considerable progress has been made, especially in Ustilago maydis and Magnaporthe oryzae. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of the role of N‐glycosylation, O‐glycosylation and glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors during plant infection by pathogenic fungi. We highlight the roles of these processes in regulatory mechanisms associated with appressorium formation, host penetration, biotrophic growth and immune evasion. We argue that improved knowledge of glycosylation pathways and the impact of these modifications on fungal pathogenesis is overdue and could provide novel strategies for disease control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1329-1335
Number of pages7
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number4
Early online date17 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • GPI anchor
  • cell wall
  • fungal infection
  • glycosylation
  • pathogenesis
  • plant–fungus interaction
  • post-translational modification

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