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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (24)
- Applied and Environmental Microbiology
- Fungal Genetics and Biology : FG & B
- Applied and Environmental Microbiology
- Fungal Genetics and Biology : FG & B
- Eukaryotic Cell
- Applied and Environmental Microbiology
- Fungal Genetics and Biology : FG & B
- Microbiology (Reading, England)
- Molecular Genetics and Genomics : MGG
- Fungal Genetics and Biology : FG & B
- FEMS Microbiology Letters
- Science (New York, N.Y.)
- Eukaryotic Cell
- Plant Physiology
- Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions : MPMI
- Environmental Health Perspectives
- Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions : MPMI
- Eukaryotic Cell
- Eukaryotic Cell
- Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.)
Articles by Frances Trail in JoVE
Sexual Development and Ascospore Discharge in Fusarium graminearum
Brad Cavinder1, Usha Sikhakolli2, Kayla M. Fellows3, Frances Trail2,4
1Genetics Program, Michigan State University, 2Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, 3Human Biology Program, Michigan State University, 4Department of Plant Pathology, Michigan State University
Sexual crosses and isolation of recombinant progeny are important research tools for the filamentous fungus, Fusarium graminearum, The techniques necessary successfully carry out these processes are presented.
Other articles by Frances Trail on PubMed
Chromosomal Location Plays a Role in Regulation of Aflatoxin Gene Expression in Aspergillus Parasiticus
Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Jan, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 11772640
The nor-1 gene in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus parasiticus encodes a ketoreductase involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis. To study environmental influences on nor-1 expression, we generated plasmid pAPGUSNNB containing a nor-1 promoter-beta-glucuronidase (GUS) (encoded by uidA) reporter fusion with niaD (encodes nitrate reductase) as a selectable marker. niaD transformants of A. parasiticus strain NR-1 (niaD) carried pAPGUSNNB integrated predominantly at the nor-1 or niaD locus. Expression of the native nor-1 and nor-1::GUS reporter was compared in transformants grown under aflatoxin-inducing conditions by Northern and Western analyses and by qualitative and quantitative GUS activity assays. The timing and level of nor-1 promoter function with pAPGUSNNB integrated at nor-1 was similar to that observed for the native nor-1 gene. In contrast, nor-1 promoter activity in pAPGUSNNB and a second nor-1::GUS reporter construct, pBNG3.0, was not detectable when integration occurred at niaD. Because niaD-dependent regulation could account for the absence of expression at niaD, a third chromosomal location was analyzed using pAPGUSNP, which contained nor-1::GUS plus pyrG (encodes OMP decarboxylase) as a selectable marker. GUS expression was detectable only when pAPGUSNP integrated at nor-1 and was not detectable at pyrG, even under growth conditions that required pyrG expression. nor-1::GUS is regulated similarly to the native nor-1 gene when it is integrated at its homologous site within the aflatoxin gene cluster but is not expressed at native nor-1 levels at two locations outside of the aflatoxin gene cluster. We conclude that the GUS reporter system can be used effectively to measure nor-1 promoter activity and that nor-1 is subject to position-dependent regulation in the A. parasiticus chromosome.
Purification and Characterization of Mannitol Dehydrogenase and Identification of the Corresponding CDNA from the Head Blight Fungus, Gibberella Zeae (Fusarium Graminearum)
Phytochemistry. Dec, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 12453571
The mannitol-2-dehydrogenase (MtDH) from Gibberella zeae was purified and the corresponding cDNA identified. Purification of MtDH was accomplished using a combination of ammonium sulfate fractionation, anion exchange and dye-ligand chromatography. Final purification was achieved following electroelution from a native gel. Molecular mass determination based on SDS-PAGE indicated that the denatured protein was 29 kDa. Native protein mass was determined to be 110 kDa using gel permeation chromatography, indicating a tetrameric form. The pH optima for mannitol oxidation and fructose reductase activities were 9.0, and 7.0, respectively. Activity with sorbitol as the substrate was 21% of activity with mannitol. Kinetic parameters were determined by direct-linear plots of enzyme activity vs. substrate concentrations. Fructose concentrations above 600 mM and NADPH concentrations above 0.3 mM caused substrate inhibition. Comparisons of predicted amino acid sequences of several fungal MtDHs indicated high conservation within the phyla. A possible role for MtDH in generation of turgor pressure for forcible ascospore discharge is discussed.
Physiological and Environmental Aspects of Ascospore Discharge in Gibberella Zeae (anamorph Fusarium Graminearum)
Mycologia. Mar-Apr, 2002 | Pubmed ID: 21156487
We investigated ascospore discharge in the perithecial fungus, Gibberella zeae. In a wind tunnel study that simulated constant rain and varying day and night lengths, the rate of ascospore release was approximately 8-30% greater under light than in complete darkness. Under constant light, ascospore discharge occurred at maximal rates at relative humidity levels greater than 92%. When perithecia were placed under conditions of high external osmolarity, ascospore discharge was significantly reduced. Ascospores were discharged from asci along with droplets of fluid, the epiplasm, from within the ascus. Analysis of discharged epiplasmic fluid by GC-MASS Spectrometry revealed that mannitol was the major simple sugar component of the fluid. Activity of mannitol dehydrogenase, which catalyzes the conversion of fructose to mannitol, was higher in protein extracts from mature perithecia than in extracts from vegetative tissue. Several inhibitors of K(+) and Ca(++) ion channels inhibited ascospore discharge, which suggested that ascospore discharge resulted from the buildup of turgor pressure generated by ion fluxes and mannitol accumulation.
Fungal Genetics and Biology : FG & B. Mar, 2003 | Pubmed ID: 12620255
Gibberella zeae is a broad host range pathogen that infects many crop plants, including wheat and barley, and causes head blight and rot diseases throughout the world. To better understand fungal development and pathogenicity, we have generated 7996 ESTs from three cDNA libraries. Two libraries were generated from carbon-(C-) and nitrogen- (N-) starved mycelia and one library was generated from cultures of maturing perithecia (P). In other fungal pathogens, starvation conditions have been shown to act as cues to induce infection-related gene expression. To assign putative function to cDNAs, sequences were initially assembled using StackPack. The estimated total number of genes identified from the three EST databases was 2110: 1088 contigs and 1022 singleton sequences. These 2110 sequences were compared to a yeast protein sequence reference set and to the GenBank nonredundant database using BLASTX. Based on presumptive gene function identified by this process, we found that the two starved cultures had similar, but not identical, patterns of gene expression, whereas the developmental cultures were distinct in their pattern of expression. Of the three libraries, the perithecium library had the greatest percentage (46%) of ESTS falling into the "unclassified" category. Homologues of some known fungal virulence or pathogenicity factors were found primarily in the N- and C-libraries. Comparisons also were made with ESTs from the related fungi, Neurospora crassa and Magnaporthe grisea and the genomic sequence of N. crassa.
Role of Cis-acting Sites NorL, a TATA Box, and AflR1 in Nor-1 Transcriptional Activation in Aspergillus Parasiticus
Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Mar, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15746358
The transcription factor AflR is required for up-regulation of specific pathway genes involved in aflatoxin biosynthesis in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus. nor-1 encodes an early aflatoxin pathway enzyme; its promoter contains a consensus AflR binding site (AflR1). Proteins in Aspergillus parasiticus cell extracts and AflR expressed in Escherichia coli do not bind to A. parasiticus AflR1 in vitro, so it was not clear if this site was required for nor-1 expression or if other transcription factors contributed to gene regulation. In this study we defined the role of AflR1 in nor-1 expression in A. parasiticus and identified additional cis-acting sites required for maximum nor-1 transcriptional activation. Deletion and substitution of AflR1 in the nor-1 promoter in A. parasiticus nor-1::GUS reporter strains showed that this site is required for nor-1 transcriptional activation in vivo. Substitution of a putative TATA box in the nor-1 promoter resulted in nondetectable beta-glucuronidase (GUS) activity, demonstrating that this TATA box is functional in vivo. We also identified a novel cis-acting site, designated NorL, between residues -210 and -238 that was required for maximum nor-1 transcriptional activation in A. parasiticus grown in liquid medium and on solid medium. Using an electrophoretic mobility shift assay, we identified a specific NorL-dependent DNA-protein complex that relies on a functional AflR, either directly or indirectly, for maximum binding capacity. Because the NorL site appears only once in the aflatoxin gene cluster, its association with the nor-1 promoter may have important implications for the overall regulatory scheme for the aflatoxin pathway.
Ejection Mechanics and Trajectory of the Ascospores of Gibberella Zeae (anamorph Fuarium Graminearum)
Fungal Genetics and Biology : FG & B. Jun, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 15878295
Since wind speed drops to zero at a surface, forced ejection should facilitate spore dispersal. But for tiny spores, with low mass relative to surface area, high ejection speed yields only a short range trajectory, so pernicious is their drag. Thus, achieving high speeds requires prodigious accelerations. In the ascomycete Gibberella zeae, we determined the launch speed and kinetic energy of ascospores shot from perithecia, and the source and magnitude of the pressure driving the launch. We asked whether the pressure inside the ascus suffices to account for launch speed and energy. Launch speed was 34.5 ms-1, requiring a pressure of 1.54 MPa and an acceleration of 870,000 g--the highest acceleration reported in a biological system. This analysis allows us to discount the major sugar component of the epiplasmic fluid, mannitol, as having a key role in driving discharge, and supports the role of potassium ion flux in the mechanism.
Functional Analysis of the Polyketide Synthase Genes in the Filamentous Fungus Gibberella Zeae (anamorph Fusarium Graminearum)
Eukaryotic Cell. Nov, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16278459
Polyketides are a class of secondary metabolites that exhibit a vast diversity of form and function. In fungi, these compounds are produced by large, multidomain enzymes classified as type I polyketide synthases (PKSs). In this study we identified and functionally disrupted 15 PKS genes from the genome of the filamentous fungus Gibberella zeae. Five of these genes are responsible for producing the mycotoxins zearalenone, aurofusarin, and fusarin C and the black perithecial pigment. A comprehensive expression analysis of the 15 genes revealed diverse expression patterns during grain colonization, plant colonization, sexual development, and mycelial growth. Expression of one of the PKS genes was not detected under any of 18 conditions tested. This is the first study to genetically characterize a complete set of PKS genes from a single organism.
The Development and Differentiation of Gibberella Zeae (anamorph: Fusarium Graminearum) During Colonization of Wheat
Mycologia. Jan-Feb, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16389974
Worldwide, one of the most devastating pathogens of small grains is the head blight fungus, Gibberella zeae. Ascospore-laden perithecia of this fungus develop on mature cereal crops and crop debris and provide the primary inoculum of the disease. We characterize the process of colonization of wheat tissue that leads to perithecium production. Stems were colonized systemically and extensively following inoculation of the wheat head. Haploid mycelia moved down the vascular system and pith and then colonized the stem tissue radially. Dikaryotic hyphae developed at two distinct stages: in the xylem, in support of radial hyphal growth and in the chloremchyma, in support of perithecium development. Perithecium formation was initiated in association with stomatesand silica cells. Vascular occlusions prevented mycelia from colonizing the stem in 25% of inoculated plants. Implications of these findings are discussed for developing resistant cultivars and improving chemical control of the disease.
Characterization of Two Polyketide Synthase Genes Involved in Zearalenone Biosynthesis in Gibberella Zeae
Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Mar, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16517624
Zearalenone, a mycotoxin produced by several Fusarium spp., is most commonly found as a contaminant in stored grain and has chronic estrogenic effects on mammals. Zearalenone is a polyketide derived from the sequential condensation of multiple acetate units by a polyketide synthase (PKS), but the genetics of its biosynthesis are not understood. We cloned two genes, designated ZEA1 and ZEA2, which encode polyketide synthases that participate in the biosynthesis of zearalenone by Gibberella zeae (anamorph Fusarium graminearum). Disruption of either gene resulted in the loss of zearalenone production under inducing conditions. ZEA1 and ZEA2 are transcribed divergently from a common promoter region. Quantitative PCR analysis of both PKS genes and six flanking genes supports the view that the two polyketide synthases make up the core biosynthetic unit for zearalenone biosynthesis. An appreciation of the genetics of zearalenone biosynthesis is needed to understand how zearalenone is synthesized under field conditions that result in the contamination of grain.
Development of a Fusarium Graminearum Affymetrix GeneChip for Profiling Fungal Gene Expression in Vitro and in Planta
Fungal Genetics and Biology : FG & B. May, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16531083
Recently the genome sequences of several filamentous fungi have become available, providing the opportunity for large-scale functional analysis including genome-wide expression analysis. We report the design and validation of the first Affymetrix GeneChip microarray based on the entire genome of a filamentous fungus, the ascomycetous plant pathogen Fusarium graminearum. To maximize the likelihood of representing all putative genes (approximately 14,000) on the array, two distinct sets of automatically predicted gene calls were used and integrated into the online F. graminearum Genome DataBase. From these gene sets, a subset of calls was manually annotated and a non-redundant extract of all calls together with additional EST sequences and controls were submitted for GeneChip design. Experiments were conducted to test the performance of the F. graminearum GeneChip. Hybridization experiments using genomic DNA demonstrated the usefulness of the array for experimentation with F. graminearum and at least four additional pathogenic Fusarium species. Differential transcript accumulation was detected using the F. graminearum GeneChip with treatments derived from the fungus grown in culture under three nutritional regimes and in comparison with fungal growth in infected barley. The ability to detect fungal genes in planta is surprisingly sensitive even without efforts to enrich for fungal transcripts. The Plant Expression Database (PLEXdb, http://www.plexdb.org) will be used as a public repository for raw and normalized expression data from the F. graminearum GeneChip. The F. graminearum GeneChip will help to accelerate exploration of the pathogen-host pathways that may involve interactions between pathogenicity genes in the fungus and disease response in the plant.
Genomic Analysis of Host-pathogen Interaction Between Fusarium Graminearum and Wheat During Early Stages of Disease Development
Microbiology (Reading, England). Jun, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16735750
Fusarium graminearum strains responsible for causing the plant disease Fusarium head blight vary greatly in their ability to cause disease and produce mycotoxins on wheat. With the goal of understanding fungal gene expression related to pathogenicity, three cDNA libraries were created by suppression subtractive hybridization using wheat heads inoculated with a highly aggressive strain and either water or a less aggressive strain of this pathogen. Eighty-four fungal genes expressed during initial disease development were identified. The probable functions of 49 of these genes could be inferred by bioinformatic analysis. Thirty-five ESTs had no known homologues in current databases and were not identified by ab initio gene prediction methods. These ESTs from infected wheat heads probably represent F. graminearum genes that previously were not annotated. Four genes represented in one of these libraries were selected for targeted gene replacement, leading to the characterization of a two-component response regulator homologue involved in pathogenicity of the fungus. The mutants for this gene showed reduced sporulation and delayed spread of Fusarium head blight on wheat.
Microarray Analysis of Transcript Accumulation During Perithecium Development in the Filamentous Fungus Gibberella Zeae (anamorph Fusarium Graminearum)
Molecular Genetics and Genomics : MGG. Jul, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16741730
Gibberella zeae (anamorph Fusarium graminearum) is the causal agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat and barley in the United States. Ascospores forcibly discharged from mature fruiting bodies, the perithecia, serve as the primary inoculum for FHB epidemics. To identify genes important for perithecium development and function, a cDNA microarray that covered 11% of the G. zeae genome was constructed. The microarray was used to measure changes in transcription levels of genes expressed during three successive stages of perithecium development. When compared with vegetative mycelia, 651 (31%) cDNA clones showed changes in transcript levels in at least one of the three developmental stages. During perithecium development, 263 (13%) cDNA clones showed temporal changes in transcript profiles. Transcripts that showed the greatest changes in levels in maturing perithecia belonged to genes in the FunCat main functional categories of cell rescue, metabolism, cell type differentiation, energy, and cellular transport. For genes related to metabolism and cell type differentiation, transcripts showed the highest levels in immature perithecia, whereas for cellular transport-related genes, transcripts showed the highest levels in mature perithecia. This study represents the first large-scale investigation of both spatial and temporal changes in transcript levels during perithecium development. It provides clear evidence that the sexual development in fungi is a complex, multigenic process and identifies genes involved in sexual development of this agriculturally important fungus.
Gene Expression Shifts During Perithecium Development in Gibberella Zeae (anamorph Fusarium Graminearum), with Particular Emphasis on Ion Transport Proteins
Fungal Genetics and Biology : FG & B. Nov, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17555994
Gibberella zeae, the causal agent of Fusarium head blight, is a devastating pathogen of small grains worldwide. The sexual cycle is a crucial component of head blight epidemiology, as forcibly discharged ascospores serve as the primary inoculum. The recent development of an Affymetrix GeneChip containing probesets representative of all predicted genes of G. zeae has opened the door to studies of differential gene expression during sexual development. Using GeneChips, a developmental time course was performed in culture, from vegetative hyphae to mature perithecia with multiseptate ascospores. Time-points represent the development of the major cell types comprising the mature perithecium. The majority of the 17,830 G. zeae probesets, 78%, were expressed during at least one of the developmental stages; 12% of these appear to be specific to sexual development. Analysis of the 162 predicted ion transporter genes is reported in detail, due to their association with perithecium function. Expression patterns of the MirA-type siderophores, chloride channels, P-type ATPases and potassium transporters show some specialization in regard to developmental stage. This is the first whole-genome analysis of differential transcript accumulation during sexual development in a filamentous fungus.
FEMS Microbiology Letters. Nov, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17784861
The ascomycetous fungi produce prodigious amounts of spores through both asexual and sexual reproduction. Their sexual spores (ascospores) develop within tubular sacs called asci that act as small water cannons and expel the spores into the air. Dispersal of spores by forcible discharge is important for dissemination of many fungal plant diseases and for the dispersal of many saprophytic fungi. The mechanism has long been thought to be driven by turgor pressure within the extending ascus; however, relatively little genetic and physiological work has been carried out on the mechanism. Recent studies have measured the pressures within the ascus and quantified the components of the ascus epiplasmic fluid that contribute to the osmotic potential. Few species have been examined in detail, but the results indicate diversity in ascus function that reflects ascus size, fruiting body type, and the niche of the particular species.
The Fusarium Graminearum Genome Reveals a Link Between Localized Polymorphism and Pathogen Specialization
Science (New York, N.Y.). Sep, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17823352
We sequenced and annotated the genome of the filamentous fungus Fusarium graminearum, a major pathogen of cultivated cereals. Very few repetitive sequences were detected, and the process of repeat-induced point mutation, in which duplicated sequences are subject to extensive mutation, may partially account for the reduced repeat content and apparent low number of paralogous (ancestrally duplicated) genes. A second strain of F. graminearum contained more than 10,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms, which were frequently located near telomeres and within other discrete chromosomal segments. Many highly polymorphic regions contained sets of genes implicated in plant-fungus interactions and were unusually divergent, with higher rates of recombination. These regions of genome innovation may result from selection due to interactions of F. graminearum with its plant hosts.
The L-type Calcium Ion Channel Cch1 Affects Ascospore Discharge and Mycelial Growth in the Filamentous Fungus Gibberella Zeae (anamorph Fusarium Graminearum)
Eukaryotic Cell. Feb, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18083828
Cch1, a putative voltage-gated calcium ion channel, was investigated for its role in ascus development in Gibberella zeae. Gene replacement mutants of CCH1 were generated and found to have asci which did not forcibly discharge spores, although morphologically ascus and ascospore development in the majority of asci appeared normal. Additionally, mycelial growth was significantly slower, and sexual development was slightly delayed in the mutant; mutant mycelia showed a distinctive fluffy morphology, and no cirrhi were produced. Wheat infected with Deltacch1 mutants developed symptoms comparable to wheat infected with the wild type; however, the mutants showed a reduced ability to protect the infected stalk from colonization by saprobic fungi. Transcriptional analysis of gene expression in mutants using the Affymetrix Fusarium microarray showed 2,449 genes with significant, twofold or greater, changes in transcript abundance across a developmental series. This work extends the role of CCH1 to forcible spore discharge in G. zeae and suggests that this channel has subtle effects on growth and development.
Plant Physiology. Jan, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19126701
Triacylglyceride Metabolism by Fusarium Graminearum During Colonization and Sexual Development on Wheat
Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions : MPMI. Dec, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19888815
Fusarium graminearum, a devastating pathogen of small grains, overwinters on crop residues and produces ephemeral perithecia. Accumulation of lipids in overwintering hyphae would provide reserves for overwinter survival and perithecium development. Fatty acid composition of cultures during perithecium development indicated a drop in neutral lipid levels during development but little change in fatty acid composition across stages. Microscopic examination of cultures early in sexual development revealed hyphal cells engorged with lipid bodies. In comparison, vegetative hyphae contained few lipid bodies. Microarray analysis was performed on wheat stems at stages of colonization through perithecium development. Gene expression analysis during stages of perithecium development both in planta and in vitro (previously published) supports the view that lipid biosynthesis occurs during early stages of wheat colonization leading to sexual development and that lipid oxidation occurs as perithecia are developing. Analysis of gene expression during the stages of wheat stem colonization also revealed sets of genes unique to these stages. These results support the view that lipids accumulate in hyphae colonizing wheat stalks and are subsequently used in perithecium formation on stalk tissue. These results indicate that extensive colonization of plant tissue prior to harvest is essential for subsequent sporulation on crop residues and, thus, has important implications for inoculum reduction.
Atrazine Binds to the Growth Hormone-releasing Hormone Receptor and Affects Growth Hormone Gene Expression
Environmental Health Perspectives. Oct, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20529762
Atrazine (ATR), a commonly used herbicide in the United States, is widely distributed in water and soil because of its mobility through ecosystems and its persistence in the environment. ATR has been associated with defects in sexual development in animals, but studies on mammalian systems have failed to clearly identify a cellular target.
A Partial Chromosomal Deletion Caused by Random Plasmid Integration Resulted in a Reduced Virulence Phenotype in Fusarium Graminearum
Molecular Plant-microbe Interactions : MPMI. Aug, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20615118
Fusarium graminearum (teleomorph: Gibberella zeae) is an Ascomycete fungal plant pathogen which infects a range of agriculturally important crops, including wheat, barley, and maize. A random plasmid insertion mutagenesis approach was used to analyze the pathogenicity of the PH-1 strain, for which full genomic information is available. Fungal transformants were initially screened for their ability to infect wheat ears. From a total of 1,170 transformants screened, eight were confirmed to be highly reduced in pathogenicity toward wheat ears and roots. These were designated disease-attenuated F. graminearum (daf) mutants. The in vitro growth rate and appearance of each daf mutant was equivalent to the parental strain. Deoxynivalenol (DON) was not detected in threshed grain recovered from ears inoculated with the daf10 mutant. Plasmid rescue and sequencing of the mutant daf10 revealed a deletion of approximately 350 kb from one end of chromosome 1. This chromosome segment is predicted to contain 146 genes. Microarray analysis of daf10 gene expression during growth in DON-inducing conditions confirmed the large deletion. The identities of the genes deleted and their potential role in DON production, pathogenesis, and other life processes are discussed.
A Novel Gene, ROA, is Required for Normal Morphogenesis and Discharge of Ascospores in Gibberella Zeae
Eukaryotic Cell. Oct, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20802018
Head blight, caused by Gibberella zeae, is a significant disease among cereal crops, including wheat, barley, and rice, due to contamination of grain with mycotoxins. G. zeae is spread by ascospores forcibly discharged from sexual fruiting bodies forming on crop residues. In this study, we characterized a novel gene, ROA, which is required for normal sexual development. Deletion of ROA (Δroa) resulted in an abnormal size and shape of asci and ascospores but did not affect vegetative growth. The Δroa mutation triggered round ascospores and insufficient cell division after spore delimitation. The asci of the Δroa strain discharged fewer ascospores from the perithecia but achieved a greater dispersal distance than those of the wild-type strain. Turgor pressure within the asci was calculated through the analysis of osmolytes in the epiplasmic fluid. Deletion of the ROA gene appeared to increase turgor pressure in the mutant asci. The higher turgor pressure of the Δroa mutant asci and the mutant spore shape contributed to the longer distance dispersal. When the Δroa mutant was outcrossed with a Δmat1-2 mutant, a strain that contains a green fluorescence protein (GFP) marker in place of the MAT1-2 gene, unusual phenotypic segregation occurred. The ratio of GFP to non-GFP segregation was 1:1; however, all eight spores had the same shape. Taken together, the results of this study suggest that ROA plays multiple roles in maintaining the proper morphology and discharge of ascospores in G. zeae.
Mid1, a Mechanosensitive Calcium Ion Channel, Affects Growth, Development, and Ascospore Discharge in the Filamentous Fungus Gibberella Zeae
Eukaryotic Cell. Jun, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21357477
The role of Mid1, a stretch-activated ion channel capable of being permeated by calcium, in ascospore development and forcible discharge from asci was examined in the pathogenic fungus Gibberella zeae (anamorph Fusarium graminearum). The Δmid1 mutants exhibited a >12-fold reduction in ascospore discharge activity and produced predominately abnormal two-celled ascospores with constricted and fragile septae. The vegetative growth rate of the mutants was ∼50% of the wild-type rate, and production of macroconidia was >10-fold lower than in the wild type. To better understand the role of calcium flux, Δmid1 Δcch1 double mutants were also examined, as Cch1, an L-type calcium ion channel, is associated with Mid1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The phenotype of the Δmid1 Δcch1 double mutants was similar to but more severe than the phenotype of the Δmid1 mutants for all categories. Potential and current-voltage measurements were taken in the vegetative hyphae of the Δmid1 and Δcch1 mutants and the wild type, and the measurements for all three strains were remarkably similar, indicating that neither protein contributes significantly to the overall electrical properties of the plasma membrane. Pathogenicity of the Δmid1 and Δmid1Δcch1 mutants on the host (wheat) was not affected by the mutations. Exogenous calcium supplementation partially restored the ascospore discharge and vegetative growth defects for all mutants, but abnormal ascospores were still produced. These results extend the known roles of Mid1 to ascospore development and forcible discharge. However, Neurospora crassa Δmid1 mutants were also examined and did not exhibit defects in ascospore development or in ascospore discharge. In comparison to ion channels in other ascomycetes, Mid1 shows remarkable adaptability of roles, particularly with regard to niche-specific adaptation.
Deoxynivalenol Biosynthesis-related Gene Expression During Wheat Kernel Colonization by Fusarium Graminearum
Phytopathology. Sep, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21521001
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a potent mycotoxin and virulence factor produced by Fusarium graminearum. We examined the expression of the core DON biosynthetic gene Tri5 during wheat head infection of susceptible and resistant cultivars and susceptible cultivars treated with strobilurin fungicides (e.g., azoxystrobin). DON was quantified to correlate expression with toxin accumulation. The highest Tri5 expression relative to housekeeping genes occurred at the infection front. As infection progressed, earliest-infected kernels showed diminished relative Tri5 expression but Tri5 expression never ceased during the 21 days observed. Azoxystrobin treatment showed no significant effect on either relative Tri5 expression or DON quantity. The resistant cultivar 'Alsen' showed minimal spread of the fungus, with no fungus detected by day 21. DON was not detected in significant quantities in Alsen in the later stages sampled. In Wheaten, DON levels were negligible at 8 days postinoculation (dpi), with detectable DON at later-sampled time points. Tri5 was detected even in fully senesced kernels 21 dpi. Our data demonstrate the presence of Tri5 transcripts in a susceptible cultivar over a much longer time period than has been previously documented. This suggests the ability of the fungus to rapidly resume toxin biosynthesis in dried infected grain should conducive environmental conditions be present, and provides a possible mechanism for high DON levels in asymptomatic grain.
Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21590414
Fusarium graminearum, the causal agent of head blight of wheat, was the third filamentous fungus to have a completed genome sequence. Since the release of the genome sequence in 2003, F. graminearum has become a model for studies of genomics and transcriptomics, mycotoxins, fungal population genetics, gene function, and sexual development. Herein we present the techniques we have used in our laboratory to perform expression analyses on life cycle stages of F. graminearum and techniques to functionally characterize those genes identified as potentially interesting.