Foliar fungal pathogens challenge global food security, but how they optimize growth and development during infection is understudied. Despite adopting several lifestyles to facilitate nutrient acquisition from colonized cells, little is known about the genetic underpinnings governing pathogen adaption to host-derived nutrients. Homologs of common global and pathway-specific gene regulatory elements are likely to be involved, but their contribution to pathogenicity, and how they are connected to broader genetic networks, is largely unspecified. Here, we focus on carbon and nitrogen metabolism in foliar pathogens and consider what is known, and what is not known, about fungal exploitation of host nutrient and ask how common metabolic regulators have been co-opted to the plant-pathogenic lifestyle as well as how nutrients are utilized to drive infection.
Via Christophe Jacquet