Proteomic analysis of conidia germination in Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4 reveals new targets in ergosterol biosynthesis pathway for controlling Fusarium wilt of banana

Gui-Ming Deng, Qiao-Song Yang, Wei-Di He, Chun-Yu Li, Jing Yang, Cun-Wu Zuo, Jie Gao, Ou Sheng, Shao-Yun Lu, Sheng Zhang, Gan-Jun Yi
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 2015, 99 (17): 7189-207
Conidial germination is a crucial step of the soilborne fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropical race 4 (Foc TR4), a most important lethal disease of banana. In this study, a total of 3659 proteins were identified by isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based comparative proteomic approach, of which 1009 were differentially expressed during conidial germination of the fungus at 0, 3, 7, and 11 h. Functional classification and bioinformatics analysis revealed that the majority of the differentially expressed proteins are involved in six metabolic pathways. Particularly, all differential proteins involved in the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway were significantly upregulated, indicating the importance of the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway to the conidial germination of Foc TR4. Quantitative RT-PCR, western blotting, and in vitro growth inhibition assay by several categories of fungicides on the Foc TR4 were used to validate the proteomics results. Four enzymes, C-24 sterol methyltransferase (ERG6), cytochrome P450 lanosterol C-14α-demethylase (EGR11), hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA synthase (ERG13), and C-4 sterol methyl oxidase (ERG25), in the ergosterol biosynthesis pathway were identified and verified, and they hold great promise as new targets for effective inhibition of Foc TR4 early growth in controlling Fusarium wilt of banana. To the best of our knowledge, this report represents the first comprehensive study on proteomics profiling of conidia germination in Foc TR4. It provides new insights into a better understanding of the developmental processes of Foc TR4 spores. More importantly, by host plant-induced gene silencing (HIGS) technology, the new targets reported in this work allow us to develop novel transgenic banana leading to high protection from Fusarium wilt and to explore more effective antifungal drugs against either individual or multiple target proteins of Foc TR4.

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