Two novel transcriptional regulators are essential for infection-related morphogenesis and pathogenicity of the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae.
Public Library of Science
Copyright: 2011 Yan et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A signaling pathway plays a major role in regulating plant infection by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Here, we report the identification of two novel genes, MoSOM1 and MoCDTF1, which were discovered in an insertional mutagenesis screen for non-pathogenic mutants of M. oryzae. MoSOM1 or MoCDTF1 are both necessary for development of spores and appressoria by M. oryzae and play roles in cell wall differentiation, regulating melanin pigmentation and cell surface hydrophobicity during spore formation. MoSom1 strongly interacts with MoStu1 (Mstu1), an APSES transcription factor protein, and with MoCdtf1, while also interacting more weakly with the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A (CpkA) in yeast two hybrid assays. Furthermore, the expression levels of MoSOM1 and MoCDTF1 were significantly reduced in both Δmac1 and ΔcpkA mutants, consistent with regulation by the cAMP/PKA signaling pathway. MoSom1-GFP and MoCdtf1-GFP fusion proteins localized to the nucleus of fungal cells. Site-directed mutagenesis confirmed that nuclear localization signal sequences in MoSom1 and MoCdtf1 are essential for their sub-cellular localization and biological functions. Transcriptional profiling revealed major changes in gene expression associated with loss of MoSOM1 during infection-related development. We conclude that MoSom1 and MoCdtf1 functions downstream of the cAMP/PKA signaling pathway and are novel transcriptional regulators associated with cellular differentiation during plant infection by the rice blast fungus.
Funding: This work was supported by National Key Basic Research and Development Program of China (2012CB114002), by Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (IRT0943), by the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 30970129 and 31071648) and the Doctoral Fund of Ministry of Education of China (20100101110097) to ZW.
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Vol. 7: e1002385
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