Necrotrophic Life Style
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Necrotrophic Life Style
kill and eat, an easy life style?
Curated by Yang Hu
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PLoS Pathogens: Anti-Apoptotic Machinery Protects the Necrotrophic Fungus Botrytis cinerea from Host-Induced Apoptotic-Like Cell Death during Plant Infection

PLoS Pathogens: Anti-Apoptotic Machinery Protects the Necrotrophic Fungus Botrytis cinerea from Host-Induced Apoptotic-Like Cell Death during Plant Infection | Necrotrophic Life Style | Scoop.it

Necrotrophic fungi are unable to occupy living plant cells. How such pathogens survive first contact with living host tissue and initiate infection is therefore unclear. Here, we show that the necrotrophic grey mold fungus Botrytis cinerea undergoes massive apoptotic-like programmed cell death (PCD) following germination on the host plant. Manipulation of an anti-apoptotic gene BcBIR1 modified fungal response to PCD-inducing conditions. As a consequence, strains with reduced sensitivity to PCD were hyper virulent, while strains in which PCD was over-stimulated showed reduced pathogenicity. Similarly, reduced levels of PCD in the fungus were recorded following infection of Arabidopsis mutants that show enhanced susceptibility to B. cinerea. When considered together, these results suggest that Botrytis PCD machinery is targeted by plant defense molecules, and that the fungal anti-apoptotic machinery is essential for overcoming this host-induced PCD and hence, for establishment of infection. As such, fungal PCD machinery represents a novel target for fungicides and antifungal drugs.

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A unique wheat disease resistance-like gene governs effector-triggered susceptibility to necrotrophic pathogens

A unique wheat disease resistance-like gene governs effector-triggered susceptibility to necrotrophic pathogens | Necrotrophic Life Style | Scoop.it

Plant disease resistance is often conferred by genes with nucleotide binding site (NBS) and leucine-rich repeat (LRR) or serine/threonine protein kinase (S/TPK) domains. Much less is known about mechanisms of susceptibility, particularly to necrotrophic fungal pathogens. The pathogens that cause the diseases tan spot and Stagonospora nodorum blotch on wheat produce effectors (host-selective toxins) that induce susceptibility in wheat lines harboring corresponding toxin sensitivity genes. The effector ToxA is produced by both pathogens, and sensitivity to ToxA is governed by the Tsn1 gene on wheat chromosome arm 5BL. Here, we report the cloning of Tsn1, which was found to have disease resistance gene-like features, including S/TPK and NBS-LRR domains. Mutagenesis revealed that all three domains are required for ToxA sensitivity, and hence disease susceptibility. Tsn1 is unique to ToxA-sensitive genotypes, and insensitive genotypes are null. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis indicated that Tsn1 arose in the B-genome diploid progenitor of polyploid wheat through a gene-fusion event that gave rise to its unique structure. Although Tsn1 is necessary to mediate ToxA recognition, yeast two-hybrid experiments suggested that the Tsn1 protein does not interact directly with ToxA. Tsn1 transcription is tightly regulated by the circadian clock and light, providing further evidence that Tsn1-ToxA interactions are associated with photosynthesis pathways. This work suggests that these necrotrophic pathogens may thrive by subverting the resistance mechanisms acquired by plants to combat other pathogens.

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PLoS Genetics: Genomic Analysis of the Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Botrytis cinerea

PLoS Genetics: Genomic Analysis of the Necrotrophic Fungal Pathogens Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Botrytis cinerea | Necrotrophic Life Style | Scoop.it

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Botrytis cinerea are closely related necrotrophic plant pathogenic fungi notable for their wide host ranges and environmental persistence. These attributes have made these species models for understanding the complexity of necrotrophic, broad host-range pathogenicity. Despite their similarities, the two species differ in mating behaviour and the ability to produce asexual spores. We have sequenced the genomes of one strain of S. sclerotiorum and two strains of B. cinerea. The comparative analysis of these genomes relative to one another and to other sequenced fungal genomes is provided here. Their 38–39 Mb genomes include 11,860–14,270 predicted genes, which share 83% amino acid identity on average between the two species. We have mapped the S. sclerotiorum assembly to 16 chromosomes and found large-scale co-linearity with the B. cinerea genomes. Seven percent of the S. sclerotiorum genome comprises transposable elements compared to <1% of B. cinerea. The arsenal of genes associated with necrotrophic processes is similar between the species, including genes involved in plant cell wall degradation and oxalic acid production. Analysis of secondary metabolism gene clusters revealed an expansion in number and diversity of B. cinerea–specific secondary metabolites relative to S. sclerotiorum. The potential diversity in secondary metabolism might be involved in adaptation to specific ecological niches. Comparative genome analysis revealed the basis of differing sexual mating compatibility systems between S. sclerotiorum and B. cinerea. The organization of the mating-type loci differs, and their structures provide evidence for the evolution of heterothallism from homothallism. These data shed light on the evolutionary and mechanistic bases of the genetically complex traits of necrotrophic pathogenicity and sexual mating. This resource should facilitate the functional studies designed to better understand what makes these fungi such successful and persistent pathogens of agronomic crops.

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Fungal Small RNAs Suppress Plant Immunity by Hijacking Host RNA Interference Pathways

Botrytis cinerea, the causative agent of gray mold disease, is an aggressive fungal pathogen that infects more than 200 plant species. Here, we show that some B. cinerea small RNAs (Bc-sRNAs) can silence Arabidopsis and tomato genes involved in immunity. These Bc-sRNAs hijack the host RNA interference (RNAi) machinery by binding to Arabidopsis Argonaute 1 (AGO1) and selectively silencing host immunity genes. The Arabidopsis ago1 mutant exhibits reduced susceptibility to B. cinerea, and the B. cinerea dcl1 dcl2 double mutant that can no longer produce these Bc-sRNAs displays reduced pathogenicity on Arabidopsis and tomato. Thus, this fungal pathogen transfers “virulent” sRNA effectors into host plant cells to suppress host immunity and achieve infection, which demonstrates a naturally occurring cross-kingdom RNAi as an advanced virulence mechanism.


Via IPM Lab
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Emergence of a new disease as a result of interspecific virulence gene transfer

New diseases of humans, animals and plants emerge regularly. Enhanced virulence on a new host can be facilitated by the acquisition of novel virulence factors. Interspecific gene transfer is known to be a source of such virulence factors in bacterial pathogens (often manifested as pathogenicity islands in the recipient organism1) and it has been speculated that interspecific transfer of virulence factors may occur in fungal pathogens2. Until now, no direct support has been available for this hypothesis. Here we present evidence that a gene encoding a critical virulence factor was transferred from one species of fungal pathogen to another. This gene transfer probably occurred just before 1941, creating a pathogen population with significantly enhanced virulence and leading to the emergence of a new damaging disease of wheat.

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PLoS Pathogens: Tipping the Balance: Sclerotinia sclerotiorum Secreted Oxalic Acid Suppresses Host Defenses by Manipulating the Host Redox Environment

PLoS Pathogens: Tipping the Balance: Sclerotinia sclerotiorum Secreted Oxalic Acid Suppresses Host Defenses by Manipulating the Host Redox Environment | Necrotrophic Life Style | Scoop.it

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is a necrotrophic ascomycete fungus with an extremely broad host range. This pathogen produces the non-specific phytotoxin and key pathogenicity factor, oxalic acid (OA). Our recent work indicated that this fungus and more specifically OA, can induce apoptotic-like programmed cell death (PCD) in plant hosts, this induction of PCD and disease requires generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the host, a process triggered by fungal secreted OA. Conversely, during the initial stages of infection, OA also dampens the plant oxidative burst, an early host response generally associated with plant defense. This scenario presents a challenge regarding the mechanistic details of OA function; as OA both suppresses and induces host ROS during the compatible interaction. In the present study we generated transgenic plants expressing a redox-regulated GFP reporter. Results show that initially, Sclerotinia (via OA) generates a reducing environment in host cells that suppress host defense responses including the oxidative burst and callose deposition, akin to compatible biotrophic pathogens. Once infection is established however, this necrotroph induces the generation of plant ROS leading to PCD of host tissue, the result of which is of direct benefit to the pathogen. In contrast, a non-pathogenic OA-deficient mutant failed to alter host redox status. The mutant produced hypersensitive response-like features following host inoculation, including ROS induction, callose formation, restricted growth and cell death. These results indicate active recognition of the mutant and further point to suppression of defenses by the wild type necrotrophic fungus. Chemical reduction of host cells with dithiothreitol (DTT) or potassium oxalate (KOA) restored the ability of this mutant to cause disease. Thus, Sclerotinia uses a novel strategy involving regulation of host redox status to establish infection. These results address a long-standing issue involving the ability of OA to both inhibit and promote ROS to achieve pathogenic success.

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