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Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B

Zilan Wen, Tommaso Raffaello, Zhen Zeng, Mirko Pavicic, Fred O Asiegbu
Heterobasidion parviporum Niemelä & Korhonen is a necrotrophic fungal pathogen of Norway spruce (Picea abies). H. parviporum genome encodes numerous necrotrophic small secreted proteins (SSP) which might be important for promoting and sustaining the disease development. However, their transcriptional dynamics and plant defense response during infection are largely unknown. In this study, we identified a necrotrophic SSP named HpSSP35.8 and its coding gene was highly expressed in the pre-symptomatic phase of host (Norway spruce) infection...
February 11, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Qiang Wang, Jeffrey J Coleman
Fusarium oxysporum is an economically important pathogen that widely exists in the environment and is capable of causing serious problems in crop production and animal/human health. One important step for characterization of a fungal protein with an unknown function is to determine its subcellular localization within the cell. To facilitate the study of important functional regulators or key virulence factors, we developed a CRISPR/Cas9-mediated endogenous gene tagging (EGT) system based on two different strategies, homology-independent targeted integration (HITI) and homology-dependent recombination integration (HDRI)...
February 6, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Jessica Müller, Thomas Pohlmann, Michael Feldbrügge
Active movement of mRNAs by sophisticated transport machineries determines precise spatiotemporal expression of encoded proteins. A prominent example discovered in fungi is microtubule-dependent transport via endosomes. This mode of transport was thought to be only operational in the basidiomycete Ustilago maydis. Here, we report that distinct core components are evolutionarily conserved in fungal species of distantly related phyla like Mucoromycota. Interestingly, orthologues of the key RNA-binding protein Rrm4 from the higher basidiomycete Coprinopsis cinerea and the mucoromycete Rhizophagus irregularis shuttle on endosomes in hyphae of U...
February 6, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Inbal Herold, David Kowbel, Diego L Delgado-Álvarez, Marisela Garduño-Rosales, Rosa R Mouriño-Pérez, Oded Yarden
Impairment of theNeurospora crassaCOT-1 kinase results in defects in hyphal polarity. Some of these effects are partially suppressed by inactivation of gul-1 (encoding an mRNA-binding protein involved in translational regulation). Here, we report on the transcriptional profiling of cot-1 inactivation and demonstrate that gul-1 affects transcript abundance of multiple genes in the COT-1 pathway, including processes such as cell wall remodeling, nitrogen, and amino acid metabolism. The GUL-1 protein itself was found to be distributed within the entire hyphal cell, along with a clear presence of aggregates that traffic within the cytoplasm...
February 4, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Tetsuya Chujo, Yonathan Lukito, Carla J Eaton, Pierre-Yves Dupont, Linda J Johnson, David Winter, Murray P Cox, Barry Scott
Epichloë festucae forms mutualistic symbiotic interactions with grasses of the Lolium and Festuca genera. Protection from insect and mammalian herbivory are the best-documented host benefits of these associations. The two main classes of anti-mammalian alkaloids synthesized by E. festucae are the ergot alkaloids and indole diterpenes, of which ergovaline and lolitrems are the principal terminal products. Synthesis of both metabolites require multiple gene products encoded by clusters of 11 genes located at the subtelomeric regions of chromosomes I and III respectively...
February 4, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Jorge R Ibarra Caballero, Jongbum Jeon, Yong-Hwan Lee, Stephen Fraedrich, Ned B Klopfenstein, Mee-Sook Kim, Jane E Stewart
Raffaelea lauricola is an invasive fungal pathogen and symbiont of the redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus) that has caused widespread mortality to redbay (Persea borbonia) and other Lauraceae species in the southeastern USA. We compare two genomes of R. lauricola (C2646 and RL570) to seven other related Ophiostomatales species including R. aguacate (nonpathogenic close relative of R. lauricola), R. quercus-mongolicae (associated with mortality of oaks in Korea), R. quercivora (associated with mortality of oaks in Japan), Grosmannia clavigera (cause of blue stain in conifers), Ophiostoma novo-ulmi (extremely virulent causal agent of Dutch elm disease), O...
February 1, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Kihyuck Choi, Stephen M Marek
Phoma medicaginis(syn. Ascochyta medicaginicola Qchen &L. Cai) causes spring black stem and leaf spot of alfalfa and the model legumeMedicago truncatula.Phoma medicaginisproduces uninucleate conidia in melanized pycnidia and is genetically tractable throughAgrobacteriumtumefaciens-mediated transformation (ATMT), which can result in insertional mutants. One T-DNA-tagged mutant, P1A17 produced conidia in non-melanized (hyaline) pycnidia. Pycnidial melanization recovered if the mutant was supplemented with melanin precursors or allowed to age...
January 30, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Xiumei Luo, Chengjian Xie, Jinyan Dong, Xingyong Yang
Verticillium dahliae is a soil-borne, hemibiotrophic phytopathogenic fungus that causes Verticillium wilt in a broad range of economic crops. The microsclerotia (MS), which act as the main host inoculum, can survive long-term in soil resulting in uncontrollable disease. In order to clarify the mechanism of MS formation, we sequenced the whole genome-wide expression profile of V. dahliae strain V991. Compared with M1 (no MS formation), during the process of MS formation and maturation, 1354, 1571, and 1521 unique tags were significantly regulated in M2, M3, and M4 library, respectively...
January 30, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Hamed Hosseinpour Tehrani, Elena Geiser, Meike Engel, Sandra K Hartmann, Abeer H Hossain, Peter J Punt, Lars M Blank, Nick Wierckx
Besides enzymatic conversions, many eukaryotic metabolic pathways also involve transport proteins that shuttle molecules between subcellular compartments, or into the extracellular space. Fungal itaconate production involves two such transport steps, involving an itaconate transport protein (Itp), and a mitochondrial tricarboxylate transporter (Mtt). The filamentous ascomycete Aspergillus terreus and the unicellular basidiomycete Ustilago maydis both produce itaconate, but do so via very different molecular pathways, and under very different cultivation conditions...
January 28, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Yafen Zhang, Yumei Yin, Peng Hu, Jiajia Yu, Wenqiang Xia, Qianwen Ge, Qianchao Cao, Haifeng Cui, Xiaoping Yu, Zihong Ye
Ustilago esculenta is closely related to the smut fungus Ustilago maydis and, in an endophytic-like life in the plant Zizania latifolia, only infects host stems and causes swollen stems to form edible galls called Jiaobai in China. In order to study its different modes of invasion and sites of symptom development from other smut fungi at the molecular level, we first characterized the a and b mating-type loci of U. esculenta. The a loci contained three a mating-type alleles, encoding two pheromones and one pheromone receptor per allele...
January 24, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Christopher M Flynn, Karen Broz, Wilfried Jonkers, Claudia Schmidt-Dannert, H Corby Kistler
The sesquiterpenoid deoxynivalenol (DON) is an important trichothecene mycotoxin produced by the cereal pathogen Fusarium graminearum. DON is synthesized in specialized subcellular structures called toxisomes. The first step in DON synthesis is catalyzed by the sesquiterpene synthase (STS), Tri5 (trichodiene synthase), resulting in the cyclization of farnesyl diphosphate (FPP) to produce the sesquiterpene trichodiene. Tri5 is one of eight putative STSs in the F. graminearum genome. To better understand the F...
January 18, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
David L Nsibo, Irene Barnes, Ncobile T Kunene, Dave K Berger
Gray leaf spot (GLS) is an important foliar disease of maize. This disease, caused by Cercospora zeina, is prevalent in both smallholder and commercial maize farms in South Africa. Notably, smallholder practices are geared towards conservation agriculture, planting diverse maize genotypes within a field and avoiding chemical control. This study examined the population genetic structure of 129 C.zeina isolates from three smallholder farm sites in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa using 13 microsatellite markers...
January 16, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Longguang Qin, Ang Li, Kaeling Tan, Shuhui Guo, Yingying Chen, Fang Wang, Koon Ho Wong
Gene manipulation is an important routine technique and its efficiency is often a rate-limiting step in research. To facilitate gene manipulation in filamentous fungi, we adapted the S. cerevisiae Gene Deletion and Gene Tagging plasmid collections to include additional selectable markers that make the useful resources applicable to other fungi. Three markers for auxotrophic selection in Aspergillus and related species (the riboB, pyroA and pyrG genes of Aspergillus fumigatus) and a dominant selectable marker for glufosinate resistance (the Bar gene from Streptomyces hygroscopicus) were introduced to the collections...
January 11, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Cynthia L Chelius, Liliane F C Ribeiro, Walker Huso, Jyothi Kumar, Stephen Lincoln, Bao Tran, Young Ah Goo, Ranjan Srivastava, Steven D Harris, Mark R Marten
The protein kinase MpkA plays a prominent role in the cell wall integrity signaling (CWIS) pathway, acting as the terminal MAPK activating expression of genes which encode cell wall biosynthetic enzymes and other repair functions. Numerous studies focus on MpkA function during cell wall perturbation. Here, we focus on the role MpkA plays outside of cell wall stress, during steady state growth. In an effort to seek other, as yet unknown, connections to this pathway, an mpkA deletion mutant (ΔmpkA) was subjected to phosphoproteomic and transcriptomic analysis...
January 9, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Cheng-Li Fan, Lian-Tao Han, Su-Ting Jiang, An-Ni Chang, Ze-Yang Zhou, Tong-Bao Liu
Cryptococcus neoformans is a ubiquitousyeast pathogen that often infects the human central nervous system (CNS) to cause meningitis in immunocompromised individuals. Although numeroussignaling pathways and factors important for fungal sexual reproduction and virulence have been investigated, their precise mechanism of action remains to be further elucidated. In this study, we identified and characterized a novel zinc finger protein Zfp1 that regulates fungal sexual reproduction and virulence in C. neoformans...
January 7, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Arianne Ramírez-Del Villar, Robert W Roberson, Olga A Callejas-Negrete, Rosa R Mouriño-Pérez
In filamentous fungi, polarized growth is the result of vesicle secretion at the hyphal apex. Motor proteins mediate vesicle transport to target destinations on the plasma membrane via actin and microtubule cytoskeletons. Myosins are motor proteins associated with actin filaments. Specifically, class V myosins are responsible for cargo transport in eukaryotes. We studied the dynamics and localization of myosin V in wild type hyphae of Neurospora crassa and in hyphae that lacked MYO-5. In wild type hyphae, MYO-5-GFP was localized concentrated in the hyphal apex and colocalized with Spitzenkörper...
January 4, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Chunhua Mu, Chaoying Pan, Qi Han, Qizheng Liu, Yue Wang, Jianli Sang
Phosphatidate phosphatases play essential roles in lipid metabolism by converting phosphatidic acid to diacylglycerol. Here, we have investigated the roles of a phosphatidate phosphatase, Pah1, in the fungal pathogen Candida albicans. Deleting PAH1 causes multiple phenotypes, especially severe hyphal defects, increased sensitivity to cell wall stress, and reduced virulence in mice. By qPCR, we detected a significant downregulation of hyphal-specific genes including two key hyphal-promoting genes UME6 and HGC1...
January 4, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Adriana Blachowicz, Abby J Chiang, Jillian Romsdahl, Markus Kalkum, Clay C C Wang, Kasthuri Venkateswaran
The on-going Microbial Observatory Experiments on the International Space Station (ISS) revealed the presence of various microorganisms that may be affected by the distinct environment of the ISS. The low-nutrient environment combined with enhanced irradiation and microgravity may trigger changes in the molecular suite of microorganisms leading to increased virulence and resistance of microbes. Proteomic characterization of two Aspergillus fumigatus strains, ISSFT-021 and IF1SW-F4, isolated from HEPA filter debris and cupola surface of the ISS, respectively, is presented, along with a comparison to well-studied clinical isolates Af293 and CEA10...
January 3, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Banu Metin, Aylin Döğen, Esra Yıldırım, G Sybren de Hoog, Joseph Heitman, Macit Ilkit
Sexual reproduction among the black yeasts is generally limited to environmental saprobic species and is rarely observed among opportunists in humans. To date, a complete sexual cycle has not been observed in Exophiala dermatitidis. In this study, we aimed to gain insight into the reproductive mode of E. dermatitidis by characterizing its mating type (MAT) locus, conducting MAT screening of environmental and clinical isolates, examining the expression of the MAT genes and analyzing the virulence of the isolates of different mating types...
January 3, 2019: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
Margaret E Katz
The mammalian tumour suppressor protein, p53, plays an important role in cell cycle control, DNA repair and apoptotic cell death. Transcription factors belonging to the "p53-like" superfamily are found exclusively in the Amorphea branch of eukaryotes, which includes animals, fungi and slime molds. Many members of the p53-like superfamily (proteins containing p53, Rel/Dorsal, T-box, STAT, Runt, Ndt80, and the CSL DNA-binding domains) are involved in development. Two families of p53-like proteins (Ndt80 and CSL) are widespread in fungi as well as animals...
December 21, 2018: Fungal Genetics and Biology: FG & B
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