The role of cellular morphogenesis in the pathogenicity of the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae
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Dagdas, Yasin Fatih
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
We have some unpublished results that we are preparing for publication in scientific journals.
Appressorium-mediated plant infection is a common strategy used by many plant pathogenic fungi. Understanding the underlying genetic network that controls cellular differentiation of appressorium is therefore pivotal to design durable resistance strategies for these devastating pathogens. This thesis describes four published studies, which investigate the role of septin GTPases in infection and the role of secretion during plant tissue invasion by the rice blast pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae. Appressorium development involves a series of morphogenetic changes that are tightly regulated by cell cycle checkpoints. Entry into mitosis allows differentiation of an appressorium, while penetration peg emergence appears to require progression through subsequent cell cycle checkpoints and cytokinesis. The studies presented here show that symmetry-breaking events that occur during appressorium differentiation are mediated by scaffold proteins, named septins. Septin GTPases recruit actomyosin ring components during septation and define the site of cytokinesis. They also recruit a toroidal cortical F-actin network to the appressorium pore that provides cortical rigidity to facilitate plant infection. Septins act as diffusion barriers for proteins that mediate membrane curvature necessary for penetration peg formation. Repolarization of the F-actin cytoskeleton at the appressorium pore is essential for plant penetration and is controlled by cell polarity regulators, such as Cdc42 and Chm1. Septin-mediated plant infection is regulated by NADPH oxidase (Nox) dependent generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The Nox2/NoxR complex is essential for septin organization at the appressorium pore. Septins are therefore key determinants of appressorium repolarization. I also report an investigation of fungal secretory processes during tissue invasion and present evidence that distinct pathways are involved in effector secretion by Magnaporthe oryzae. A BrefeldinA-sensitive pathway is necessary for secretion of apoplastic effectors, such as Bas4 and Slp1, while a BrefeldinA-insensitive pathway is necessary for secretion of effectors destined for delivery to rice cells.
The Halpin Scholarship for Rice Blast Research
Dagdas YF, et al. (2012) Septin-mediated plant cell invasion by the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae. Science 336(6088):1590-1595
Ryder LS, et al. (2013) NADPH oxidases regulate septin-mediated cytoskeletal remodeling during plant infection by the rice blast fungus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110(8):3179-3184
Saunders DG, Dagdas YF, & Talbot NJ (Spatial uncoupling of mitosis and cytokinesis during appressorium-mediated plant infection by the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae. Plant Cell 22(7):2417-2428
Talbot, Nicholas J.
PhD in Biological Sciences