The transcription factor FgMed1 is involved in early conidiogenesis and DON biosynthesis in the plant pathogenic fungus Fusarium graminearum
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Fusarium graminearum is a prominent fungal pathogen that causes economically important losses by infesting a wide variety of cereal crops. F. graminearum produces both asexual and sexual spores which disseminate and inoculate hosts. Therefore, to better understand the disease cycle and to develop strategies to improve disease management, it is important to further clarify molecular mechanisms of F. graminearum conidiogenesis. In this study, we functionally characterized the FgMed1, a gene encoding an ortholog of a conserved MedA transcription factor known to be a key conidiogenesis regulator in Aspergillus nidulans. The gene deletion mutants ΔFgMed1 produced significantly less conidia, and these were generated from abnormal conidiophores devoid of phialides. Additionally, we observed defective sexual development along with reduced virulence and deoxynivalenol (DON) production in ΔFgMed1. The GFP-tagged FgMed1 protein localized to the nuclei of conidiophores and phialides during early conidiogenesis. Significantly, RNA-Seq analyses showed that a number of the conidiation- and toxin-related genes are differentially expressed in the ΔFgMed1 mutant in early conidiogenesis. These data strongly suggest that FgMed1 involved in regulation of genes associated with early conidiogenesis, DON production, and virulence in F. graminearum.
author list (cited authors)
Fan, G., Zhang, K., Zhang, J., Yang, J., Yang, X., Hu, Y., ... Lu, G.