The transcription factor FgStuAp influences spore development, pathogenicity, and secondary metabolism in fusarium graminearum

Erik Lysøe, Matias Pasquali, Andrew Breakspear, H. Corby Kistler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fusarium graminearum is an important plant-pathogenic fungus and the major cause of cereal head blight. Here, we report the functional analysis of FgStuA, the gene for a transcription factor with homology to key developmental regulators in fungi. The deletion mutant was greatly reduced in pathogenicity on wheat heads and in production of secondary metabolites. Spore production was significantly impaired in ΔFgStuA, which did not develop perithecia and sexual ascospores, and lacked conidiophores and phialides, leading to delayed production of aberrant macroconidia. FgStuAp appears to act as a global regulator that may affect many diverse aspects of the life cycle of F. graminearum. Transcriptome analysis shows that thousands of genes are differentially expressed in the mutant during asexual sporulation and infection of wheat heads and under conditions that induce secondary metabolites, including many that could account for the mutant phenotypes observed. The primary regulatory targets of FgStuAp are likely genes involved in cell-cycle control, and the predicted FgStuAp sequence has an APSES domain, with homology to helixloop- helix proteins involved in cell-cycle regulation. The Aspergillus StuAp response element (A/TCGCGT/ANA/C) was found highly enriched in the promoter sequences of cellcycle genes, which was upregulated in the ΔFgStuA deletion mutant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-67
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

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