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Nature Reviews Microbiology: Focus on Plant Microbe Interactions (2013)

Nature Reviews Microbiology: Focus on Plant Microbe Interactions (2013) | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

Microbial ecology: A bacterial decoy skews plant defences

Christina Tobin Kåhrström

 

Symbiosis: Non-legumes answer the rhizobial call

Rachel David

 

RNA silencing suppression by plant pathogens: defence, counter-defence and counter-counter-defence

Nathan Pumplin & Olivier Voinnet

 

On the front line: structural insights into plant–pathogen interactions

Lennart Wirthmueller, Abbas Maqbool & Mark J. Banfield

 

Geminiviruses: masters at redirecting and reprogramming plant processes

Linda Hanley-Bowdoin, Eduardo R. Bejarano, Dominique Robertson & Shahid Mansoor

 

Going back to the roots: the microbial ecology of the rhizosphere

Laurent Philippot, Jos M. Raaijmakers, Philippe Lemanceau & Wim H. van der Putten

 

Filamentous plant pathogen effectors in action

Martha C. Giraldo & Barbara Valent


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Diversifying selection in the wheat stem rust fungus acts predominantly on pathogen-associated gene families and reveals candidate effectors

Diversifying selection in the wheat stem rust fungus acts predominantly on pathogen-associated gene families and reveals candidate effectors | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it
Plant pathogens cause severe losses to crop plants and threaten global food production. One striking example is the wheat stem rust fungus, Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici, which can rapidly evolve new virulent pathotypes in response to resistant host lines. Like several other filamentous fungal and oomycete plant pathogens, its genome features expanded gene families that have been implicated in host-pathogen interactions, possibly encoding effector proteins that interact directly with target host defense proteins. Previous efforts to understand virulence largely relied on the prediction of secreted, small and cysteine-rich proteins as candidate effectors and thus delivered an overwhelming number of candidates. Here, we implement an alternative analysis strategy that uses the signal of adaptive evolution as a line of evidence for effector function, combined with comparative information and expression data. We demonstrate that in planta up-regulated genes that are rapidly evolving are found almost exclusively in pathogen-associated gene families, affirming the impact of host-pathogen co-evolution on genome structure and the adaptive diversification of specialized gene families. In particular, we predict 42 effector candidates that are conserved only across pathogens, induced during infection and rapidly evolving. One of our top candidates has recently been shown to induce genotype-specific hypersensitive cell death in wheat. This shows that comparative genomics incorporating the evolutionary signal of adaptation is powerful for predicting effector candidates for laboratory verification. Our system can be applied to a wide range of pathogens and will give insight into host-pathogen dynamics, ultimately leading to progress in strategies for disease control.

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The mechanism of ascus firing – Merging biophysical and mycological viewpoints

The mechanism of ascus firing – Merging biophysical and mycological viewpoints | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it


•We identify four essential stages in the discharge of spores from asci.

•Asci wait to fire until they are mature; they must then pressurize.

•In closed fruiting bodies, asci stretch to fire into the air.

•The ascus tip functions to regulate a controlled rupture.

•We interpret the physiological and molecular studies of ascus function in the context of engineering principles.

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Nature Biotechnology: Wheat rescued from fungal disease (2014)

Nature Biotechnology: Wheat rescued from fungal disease (2014) | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

Knockout of all six alleles of a gene in the large wheat genome confers resistance to powdery mildew --- Genetic engineering to improve crops is entering a new era as conventional transgenesis technology, which involves random insertion of genes into the genome, is superseded by newer approaches that enable precise genetic alterations. A particular technological challenge in carrying out targeted genome modification in crops is that many plant genomes are polyploid, including such important species as wheat, potato and canola1. In this issue, Wang et al.2 report engineering of the hexaploid wheat genome using sequence-specific nucleases (SSNs)—the first demonstration in a polyploid crop of SSN-mediated genetic alterations that are stably transmitted to the next generation. By knocking out all six alleles encoding the MILDEW-RESISTANCE LOCUS (MLO) protein, the authors generated a mutant line that shows strong resistance to powdery mildew, a devastating fungal disease. This is a remarkable feat, given the ploidy and enormous size (17.1 Gb) of the wheat genome, and showcases the power of SSNs for engineering complex plant genomes and for creating crops with valuable traits.


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PLOS ONE: Variation in Capsidiol Sensitivity between Phytophthora infestans and Phytophthora capsici Is Consistent with Their Host Range (2014)

PLOS ONE: Variation in Capsidiol Sensitivity between Phytophthora infestans and Phytophthora capsici Is Consistent with Their Host Range (2014) | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

Plants protect themselves against a variety of invading pathogenic organisms via sophisticated defence mechanisms. These responses include deployment of specialized antimicrobial compounds, such as phytoalexins, that rapidly accumulate at pathogen infection sites. However, the extent to which these compounds contribute to species-level resistance and their spectrum of action remain poorly understood. Capsidiol, a defense related phytoalexin, is produced by several solanaceous plants including pepper and tobacco during microbial attack. Interestingly, capsidiol differentially affects growth and germination of the oomycete pathogensPhytophthora infestans and Phytophthora capsici, although the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unknown. In this study we revisited the differential effect of capsidiol on P. infestans and P. capsici, using highly pure capsidiol preparations obtained from yeast engineered to express the capsidiol biosynthetic pathway. Taking advantage of transgenicPhytophthora strains expressing fluorescent markers, we developed a fluorescence-based method to determine the differential effect of capsidiol on Phytophtora growth. Using these assays, we confirm major differences in capsidiol sensitivity between P. infestans and P. capsiciand demonstrate that capsidiol alters the growth behaviour of both Phytophthora species. Finally, we report intraspecific variation within P. infestans isolates towards capsidiol tolerance pointing to an arms race between the plant and the pathogens in deployment of defence related phytoalexins.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Pepper pathogen can handle the 'heat'

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Deep-biosphere consortium of fungi and prokaryotes in Eocene subseafloor basalts

Deep-biosphere consortium of fungi and prokaryotes in Eocene subseafloor basalts | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

The deep biosphere of the subseafloor crust is believed to contain a significant part of Earth's biomass, but because of the difficulties of directly observing the living organisms, its composition and ecology are poorly known. We report here a consortium of fossilized prokaryotic and eukaryotic micro-organisms, occupying cavities in deep-drilled vesicular basalt from the Emperor Seamounts, Pacific Ocean, 67.5 m below seafloor (mbsf). Fungal hyphae provide the framework on which prokaryote-like organisms are suspended like cobwebs and iron-oxidizing bacteria form microstromatolites (Frutexites). The spatial inter-relationships show that the organisms were living at the same time in an integrated fashion, suggesting symbiotic interdependence. The community is contemporaneous with secondary mineralizations of calcite partly filling the cavities. The fungal hyphae frequently extend into the calcite, indicating that they were able to bore into the substrate through mineral dissolution. A symbiotic relationship with chemoautotrophs, as inferred for the observed consortium, may be a pre-requisite for the eukaryotic colonization of crustal rocks. Fossils thus open a window to the extant as well as the ancient deep biosphere.


Via Francis Martin
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Rock-drilling fungi and bacteria!

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First evidence of mutualism between ancient plant lineages (Haplomitriopsida liverworts) and Mucoromycotina fungi and its response to simulated Palaeozoic changes in atmospheric CO2

First evidence of mutualism between ancient plant lineages (Haplomitriopsida liverworts) and Mucoromycotina fungi and its response to simulated Palaeozoic changes in atmospheric CO2 | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it
SummaryThe discovery that Mucoromycotina, an ancient and partially saprotrophic fungal lineage, associates with the basal liverwort lineage Haplomitriopsida casts doubt on the widely held view that Glomeromycota formed the sole ancestral plant–fungus symbiosis. Whether this association is mutualistic, and how its functioning was affected by the fall in atmospheric CO2 concentration that followed plant terrestrialization in the Palaeozoic, remains unknown.We measured carbon-for-nutrient exchanges between Haplomitriopsida liverworts and Mucoromycotina fungi under simulated mid-Palaeozoic (1500 ppm) and near-contemporary (440 ppm) CO2 concentrations using isotope tracers, and analysed cytological differences in plant–fungal interactions. Concomitantly, we cultured both partners axenically, resynthesized the associations in vitro, and characterized their cytology.We demonstrate that liverwort–Mucoromycotina symbiosis is mutualistic and mycorrhiza-like, but differs from liverwort–Glomeromycota symbiosis in maintaining functional efficiency of carbon-for-nutrient exchange between partners across CO2concentrations. Inoculation of axenic plants with Mucoromycotina caused major cytological changes affecting the anatomy of plant tissues, similar to that observed in wild-collected plants colonized by Mucoromycotina fungi.By demonstrating reciprocal exchange of carbon for nutrients between partners, our results provide support for Mucoromycotina establishing the earliest mutualistic symbiosis with land plants. As symbiotic functional efficiency was not compromised by reduced CO2, we suggest that other factors led to the modern predominance of the Glomeromycota symbiosis.

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Fungus Could Be the Key to Avoiding a Global Food Crisis - Wired

Fungus Could Be the Key to Avoiding a Global Food Crisis - Wired | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it
Fungus Could Be the Key to Avoiding a Global Food Crisis
Wired
Rodriguez, Redman, and their fellow researchers began to wonder: If this fungi could live within agricultural crops, would it still protect them from harsh climates?
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Cell Host Microbes: Convergent Targeting of a Common Host Protein-Network by Pathogen Effectors from Three Kingdoms of Life (2014)

Cell Host Microbes: Convergent Targeting of a Common Host Protein-Network by Pathogen Effectors from Three Kingdoms of Life (2014) | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

While conceptual principles governing plant immunity are becoming clear, its systems-level organization and the evolutionary dynamic of the host-pathogen interface are still obscure. We generated a systematic protein-protein interaction network of virulence effectors from the ascomycete pathogen Golovinomyces orontii and Arabidopsis thaliana host proteins. We combined this data set with corresponding data for the eubacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae and the oomycete pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis. The resulting network identifies host proteins onto which intraspecies and interspecies pathogen effectors converge. Phenotyping of 124 Arabidopsis effector-interactor mutants revealed a correlation between intraspecies and interspecies convergence and several altered immune response phenotypes. Several effectors and the most heavily targeted host protein colocalized in subnuclear foci. Products of adaptively selected Arabidopsis genes are enriched for interactions with effector targets. Our data suggest the existence of a molecular host-pathogen interface that is conserved across Arabidopsis accessions, while evolutionary adaptation occurs in the immediate network neighborhood of effector targets.

 

Ralf Weßling, Petra Epple, Stefan Altmann,Yijian He, Li Yang, Stefan R. Henz, Nathan McDonald, Kristin Wiley, Kai Christian Bader, Christine Glaßer, M. Shahid Mukhtar, Sabine Haigis, Lila Ghamsari, Amber E. Stephens, Joseph R. Ecker, Marc Vidal, Jonathan D.G. Jones,Klaus F.X. Mayer, Emiel Ver Loren van Themaat, Detlef Weigel, Paul Schulze-Lefert, Jeffery L. Dangl, Ralph Panstruga, and Pascal Braun


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CP's curator insight, September 12, 1:04 AM

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Suayib Üstün's comment, September 12, 1:45 AM
HopBF1 is HopZ4!
Suayib Üstün's curator insight, September 12, 2:14 AM

HopBF1 is HopZ4...

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Evolutionary Interaction Networks of Insect Pathogenic Fungi - Annual Review of Entomology, 59(1):467

Evolutionary Interaction Networks of Insect Pathogenic Fungi - Annual Review of Entomology, 59(1):467 | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

Lineages of insect pathogenic fungi are concentrated in three major clades: Hypocreales (several genera), Entomophthoromycota (orders Entomophthorales and Neozygitales), and Onygenales (genus Ascosphaera). Our review focuses on aspects of the evolutionary biology of these fungi that have remained underemphasized in previous reviews. To ensure integration with the better-known domains of insect pathology research, we followed a conceptual framework formulated by Tinbergen, asking complementary questions on mechanism, ontogeny, phylogeny, and adaptation. We aim to provide an introduction to the merits of evolutionary approaches for readers with a background in invertebrate pathology research and to make the insect pathogenic fungi more accessible as model systems for evolutionary biologists. We identify a number of questions in which fundamental research can offer novel insights into the evolutionary forces that have shaped host specialization and life-history traits such as spore number and size, somatic growth rate, toxin production, and interactions with host immune systems.

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Ectomycorrhizal fungi have larger fruit bodies than saprotrophic fungi

Ectomycorrhizal fungi have larger fruit bodies than saprotrophic fungi | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

Currently we have only a limited understanding of the evolutionary and ecological significance of reproductive traits of fungi. We compared data on fruit body size, spore size and shape between saprotrophic and mutualistic (ectomycorrhizal) fungi in Northern and Central Europe. Lifestyle and reproductive traits showed strong phylogenetic signals. A phylogenetically informed analysis demonstrated that saprotrophs produce on average smaller fruit bodies than mutualistic species. The two guilds, however, do not differ in spore size. Overall this suggests that fruit bodies of ectomycorrhizal fungi produce on average more spores than saprotrophic fungi. We argue that this difference is related to resource availability: ectomycorrhizal fungi receive carbon from their hosts and, therefore, evolution favours large fruit bodies, whereas the fruit body size of saprotrophic fungi might have responded to resource availability and the distribution and size of resource patches.

  


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Monoculture Breeds Poor Social Skills

Monoculture Breeds Poor Social Skills | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

Two studies from Jarosz et al. describe how [GAR+], a protein-based epigenetic determinant found mainly in wild yeast strains, can be activated by microbial cross-kingdom communication. With the aid of genetically and ecologically diverse bacteria, yeast can override an ancient regulatory mechanism of glucose repression, promoting both microbial diversity and lifespan extension.

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Annu Rev Phytopathology: Horizontal Gene Transfer in Eukaryotic Plant Pathogens (2014)

Annu Rev Phytopathology: Horizontal Gene Transfer in Eukaryotic Plant Pathogens (2014) | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

Gene transfer has been identified as a prevalent and pervasive phenomenon and an important source of genomic innovation in bacteria. The role of gene transfer in microbial eukaryotes seems to be of a reduced magnitude but in some cases can drive important evolutionary innovations, such as new functions that underpin the colonization of different niches. The aim of this review is to summarize published cases that support the hypothesis that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has played a role in the evolution of phytopathogenic traits in fungi and oomycetes. Our survey of the literature identifies 46 proposed cases of transfer of genes that have a putative or experimentally demonstrable phytopathogenic function. When considering the life-cycle steps through which a pathogen must progress, the majority of the HGTs identified are associated with invading, degrading, and manipulating the host. Taken together, these data suggest HGT has played a role in shaping how fungi and oomycetes colonize plant hosts.


Via Francis Martin, Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Nature Communications: Unconventionally secreted effectors of two filamentous pathogens target plant salicylate biosynthesis (2014)

Nature Communications: Unconventionally secreted effectors of two filamentous pathogens target plant salicylate biosynthesis (2014) | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

Plant diseases caused by fungi and oomycetes pose an increasing threat to food security and ecosystem health worldwide. These filamentous pathogens, while taxonomically distinct, modulate host defense responses by secreting effectors, which are typically identified based on the presence of signal peptides. Here we show that Phytophthora sojae and Verticillium dahliaesecrete isochorismatases (PsIsc1 and VdIsc1, respectively) that are required for full pathogenesis. PsIsc1 and VdIsc1 can suppress salicylate-mediated innate immunity in plantaand hydrolyse isochorismate in vitro. A conserved triad of catalytic residues is essential for both functions. Thus, the two proteins are isochorismatase effectors that disrupt the plant salicylate metabolism pathway by suppressing its precursor. Furthermore, these proteins lack signal peptides, but exhibit characteristics that lead to unconventional secretion. Therefore, this secretion pathway is a novel mechanism for delivering effectors and might play an important role in host–pathogen interactions.


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Project Launched to Study Evolutionary History of Fungi: the Zygomycete Genealogy of Life

Project Launched to Study Evolutionary History of Fungi: the Zygomycete Genealogy of Life | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

Zygomycetes, used in numerous industrial processes and fermentation of foods, are thought to be among the first terrestrial fungi. Symbiotic associations with zygomycetes may have facilitated the origin of land plants. Zygomycetes also represent one of the earliest origins of multicellular growth forms in fungi. Their filamentous growth is in the form of the tube-likecell growth that characterizes species of fungi like bread and fruit molds.

Called the Zygomycete Genealogy of Life (ZyGoLife), the project is funded for four years, starting Jan. 1, 2015. Jason Stajich, an associate professor of plant pathology and microbiology, is the principal investigator of the project.

  


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Oxalate production by fungi: significance in geomycology, biodeterioration and bioremediation

Oxalate production by fungi: significance in geomycology, biodeterioration and bioremediation | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

Oxalate is a key metabolite that plays a significant role in many metal and mineral transformations mediated by fungi. Metal and mineral transformations are central to geomycological processes including nutrient and element cycling, rock, mineral and metal transformations, bioweathering and mycogenic biomineral formation. Some fungal transformations have potential applications in environmental biotechnology, e.g. metal and radionuclide leaching, biorecovery, detoxification and bioremediation, and in the production or deposition of biominerals or metallic elements with catalytic or other properties. Metal and mineral transformations may also result in adverse effects when these processes result in biodeterioration of natural and synthetic materials, rock and mineral-based building materials (e.g. concrete), biocorrosion of metals, alloys and related substances, and adverse effects on radionuclide speciation, mobility and containment. Oxalate is ubiquitous in all these contexts. This paper seeks to draw together salient information from environmental and applied research to emphasize the importance of oxalate in geomycology, biodeterioration, environmental biotechnology and bioremediation.

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Challenges and opportunities for quantifying roots and rhizosphere interactions through imaging and image analysis

Challenges and opportunities for quantifying roots and rhizosphere interactions through imaging and image analysis | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

The morphology of roots and root systems influences the efficiency by which plants acquire nutrients and water, anchor themselves and provide stability to the surrounding soil. Plant genotype and the biotic and abiotic environment significantly influence root morphology, growth and ultimately crop yield. The challenge for researchers interested in phenotyping root systems is, therefore, not just to measure roots and link their phenotype to the plant genotype, but also to understand how the growth of roots is influenced by their environment. This review discusses progress in quantifying root system parameters (e.g. in terms of size, shape and dynamics) using imaging and image analysis technologies and also discusses their potential for providing a better understanding of root:soil interactions. Significant progress has been made in image acquisition techniques, however trade-offs exist between sample throughput, sample size, image resolution and information gained. All of these factors impact on downstream image analysis processes. While there have been significant advances in computation power, limitations still exist in statistical processes involved in image analysis. Utilizing and combining different imaging systems, integrating measurements and image analysis where possible, and amalgamating data will allow researchers to gain a better understanding of root:soil interactions.


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Highly Sensitive End-Point PCR and SYBR Green qPCR Detection of Phymatotrichopsis omnivora, Causal Fungus of Cotton Root Rot

Highly Sensitive End-Point PCR and SYBR Green qPCR Detection of Phymatotrichopsis omnivora, Causal Fungus of Cotton Root Rot | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it
Phymatotrichopsis omnivora, the causal pathogen of cotton root rot, is a devastating ascomycete that affects numerous important dicotyledonous plants grown in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. P. omnivora is notoriously difficult to isolate from infected plants; therefore methods for accurate and sensitive detection directly from symptomatic and asymptomatic plant samples are needed for disease diagnostics and pathogen identification. Primers were designed for P. omnivora based on consensus sequences of the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of geographically representative isolates. Primers were compared against published P. omnivora sequences and validated against DNA from P. omnivora isolates and infected plant samples. The primer combinations amplified products from a range of P. omnivora isolates representative of known ITS haplotypes using standard end-point polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methodology. The assays detected P. omnivora from infected root samples of cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa). Healthy plants and other relevant root pathogens did not produce PCR products with the P. omnivora–specific primers. Primer pair PO2F/PO2R was the most sensitive in end-point PCR assays and is recommended for use for pathogen identification from mycelial tissue and infected plant materials when quantitative PCR (qPCR) is not available. Primer pair PO3F/PO2R was highly sensitive (1 fg) when used in SYBR Green qPCR assays and is recommended for screening of plant materials potentially infected by P. omnivora or samples with suboptimal DNA quality. The described PCR-based detection methods will be useful for rapid and sensitive screening of infected plants in diagnostic laboratories, plant health inspections, and plant breeding programs.
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Cytochrome P450 Monooxygenase CYP53 Family in Fungi: Comparative Structural and Evolutionary Analysis and Its Role as a Common Alternative Anti-Fungal Drug Target

Cytochrome P450 Monooxygenase CYP53 Family in Fungi: Comparative Structural and Evolutionary Analysis and Its Role as a Common Alternative Anti-Fungal Drug Target | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (CYPs/P450s) are heme-thiolate proteins whose role as a drug target against pathogenic microbes has been explored because of their stereo- and regio-specific oxidation activity. We aimed to assess the CYP53 family's role as a common alternative drug target against animal (including human) and plant pathogenic fungi and its role in fungal-mediated wood degradation. Genome-wide analysis of fungal species revealed the presence of CYP53 members in ascomycetes and basidiomycetes. Basidiomycetes had a higher number of CYP53 members in their genomes than ascomycetes. Only two CYP53 subfamilies were found in ascomycetes and six subfamilies in basidiomycetes, suggesting that during the divergence of phyla ascomycetes lost CYP53 P450s. According to phylogenetic and gene-structure analysis, enrichment of CYP53 P450s in basidiomycetes occurred due to the extensive duplication of CYP53 P450s in their genomes. Numerous amino acids (103) were found to be conserved in the ascomycetes CYP53 P450s, against only seven in basidiomycetes CYP53 P450s. 3D-modelling and active-site cavity mapping data revealed that the ascomycetes CYP53 P450s have a highly conserved protein structure whereby 78% amino acids in the active-site cavity were found to be conserved. Because of this rigid nature of ascomycetes CYP53 P450s' active site cavity, any inhibitor directed against this P450 family can serve as a common anti-fungal drug target, particularly toward pathogenic ascomycetes. The dynamic nature of basidiomycetes CYP53 P450s at a gene and protein level indicates that these P450s are destined to acquire novel functions. Functional analysis of CYP53 P450s strongly supported our hypothesis that the ascomycetes CYP53 P450s ability is limited for detoxification of toxic molecules, whereas basidiomycetes CYP53 P450s play an additional role, i.e. involvement in degradation of wood and its derived components. This study is the first report on genome-wide comparative structural (gene and protein structure-level) and evolutionary analysis of a fungal P450 family.


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Resistance to QoI fungicides is widespread in Brazilian populations of the wheat blast pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae

Resistance to QoI fungicides is widespread in Brazilian populations of the wheat blast pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

Here we report the widespread distribution of QoI resistance in M. oryzae populations sampled from wheat fields and poaceous hosts across central and southern Brazil and the evolution of the cytochrome b (cyt b) gene. Sequence analysis of the cyt b gene distinguished nine haplotypes. The frequency of the G143A mutation in the wheat-infecting population increased from 36% in 2005 to 90% in 2012. Our findings indicate an urgent need to reexamine the use of strobilurins to manage fungal wheat diseases in Brazil.


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NMSU professor teaches the good, bad, ugly about mushrooms - Las Cruces Sun-News

NMSU professor teaches the good, bad, ugly about mushrooms - Las Cruces Sun-News | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it
NMSU professor teaches the good, bad, ugly about mushrooms
Las Cruces Sun-News
Soum Sanogo, New Mexico State University professor of fungal plant pathology, conducts research on soilborne plant pathogens.
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PLOS Pathogens: The Ins and Outs of Rust Haustoria (2014)

PLOS Pathogens: The Ins and Outs of Rust Haustoria (2014) | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

Rust diseases caused by fungi of the order Pucciniales afflict a wide range of plants, including cereals, legumes, ornamentals, and fruit trees, and pose a serious threat to cropping systems and global food security. The obligate parasitic lifestyle of these fungi and their complex life cycles, often involving alternate hosts for the sexual and asexual stages, also make this group of pathogens of great biological interest. One of the most remarkable adaptations of rust fungi is the specialized infection structure that underpins the sustained biotrophic association with hosts; the haustorium (Figure 1A and C). This organ forms after penetration of the wall of a live host cell, expanding on the inner side of the cell wall while invaginating the surrounding host plasma membrane (Figure 1C). Through haustoria, the pathogen derives nutrients from the host and secretes virulence proteins called effectors, which are believed to be the key players that manipulate the physiological and immune responses of host cells [1]–[4]. Analogous terminal feeding structures have independently evolved in other organisms such as the haustorium in powdery mildews (ascomycetes) and downy mildews (oomycetes, not true fungi), and the arbuscules in arbuscular mycorrhizae, suggesting that such architecture represents a successful adaptation of these organisms to interact with their respective host plants [5], [6].


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Delve into world of fungi at Corvallis Science Pub - Statesman Journal

Delve into world of fungi at Corvallis Science Pub - Statesman Journal | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it
Delve into world of fungi at Corvallis Science Pub Statesman Journal "Without fungi, human life would be very different — no beer or cheese, no penicillin or cyclosporin antibiotics," said Spatafora, professor of botany and plant pathology at...
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Great beer and excellent science...Sounds like a perfect evening.

 

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Compositions of fungal secretomes indicate a greater impact of phylogenetic history than lifestyle adaptation

Compositions of fungal secretomes indicate a greater impact of phylogenetic history than lifestyle adaptation | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

Background

Since the first fungal genome sequences became available, investigators have been employing comparative genomics to understand how fungi have evolved to occupy diverse ecological niches. The secretome, i.e. the entirety of all proteins secreted by an organism, is of particular importance, as by these proteins fungi acquire nutrients and communicate with their surroundings.

Results

It is generally assumed that fungi with similar nutritional lifestyles have similar secretome compositions. In this study, we test this hypothesis by annotating and comparing the soluble secretomes, defined as the sets of proteins containing classical signal peptides but lacking transmembrane domains of fungi representing a broad diversity of nutritional lifestyles. Secretome size correlates with phylogeny and to a lesser extent with lifestyle. Plant pathogens and saprophytes have larger secretomes than animal pathogens. Small secreted cysteine-rich proteins (SSCPs), which may comprise many effectors important for the interaction of plant pathogens with their hosts, are defined here to have a mature length of <= 300 aa residues, at least four cysteines, and a total cysteine content of >=5%. SSCPs are found enriched in the secretomes of the Pezizomycotina and Basidiomycota in comparison to Saccharomycotina. Relative SSCP content is noticeably higher in plant pathogens than in animal pathogens, while saprophytes were in between and closer to plant pathogens. Expansions and contractions of gene families and in the number of occurrences of functional domains are largely lineage specific, e.g. contraction of glycoside hydrolases in Saccharomycotina, and are only weakly correlated with lifestyle. However, within a given lifestyle a few general trends exist, such as the expansion of secreted family M14 metallopeptidases and chitin-binding proteins in plant pathogenic Pezizomycotina.

Conclusions

While the secretomes of fungi with similar lifestyles share certain characteristics, the expansion and contraction of gene families is largely lineage specific, and not shared among all fungi of a given lifestyle.


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Sridhar Ranganathan's curator insight, September 2, 10:34 PM

Perhaps, it would be of interest to examine the similarity/dissimilarity of secretome compositions among a set of pathogen strains/races in relation to their virulence/pathogenicity patterns.

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Developmental Cell Fate and Virulence Are Linked to Trehalose Homeostasis in Cryptococcus neoformans

Developmental Cell Fate and Virulence Are Linked to Trehalose Homeostasis in Cryptococcus neoformans | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

Spores of many human fungal pathogens cause disease, but little is known about how they form, how they germinate, or what makes them infectious. In studies of the meningitis-causing yeast, Cryptococcus neoformans, Botts et al. (p. 1158–1168) demonstrate that homeostasis of trehalose is a key determinant of terminal spore formation or continued colony growth. These findings suggest that trehalose functions not only as an osmoprotectant and fuel source but also as a signal to establish developmental cell fate. The authors further report that deletion of a developmentally regulated trehalase results in hypervirulence in a mouse model, showcasing how metabolic adaptations that promote pathogen survival in the environment can play unexpected roles in virulence in a mammalian host.

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Rescooped by Steve Marek from Plants and Microbes
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Frontiers: RNA trafficking in parasitic plant systems (2012)

Frontiers: RNA trafficking in parasitic plant systems (2012) | Plant pathogenic fungi | Scoop.it

RNA trafficking in plants contributes to local and long-distance coordination of plant development and response to the environment. However, investigations of mobile RNA identity and function are hindered by the inherent difficulty of tracing a given molecule of RNA from its cell of origin to its destination. Several methods have been used to address this problem, but all are limited to some extent by constraints associated with accurately sampling phloem sap or detecting trafficked RNA. Certain parasitic plant species form symplastic connections to their hosts and thereby provide an additional system for studying RNA trafficking. The haustorial connections of Cuscuta andPhelipanche species are similar to graft junctions in that they are able to transmit mRNAs, viral RNAs, siRNAs, and proteins from the host plants to the parasite. In contrast to other graft systems, these parasites form connections with host species that span a wide phylogenetic range, such that a high degree of nucleotide sequence divergence may exist between host and parasites and allow confident identification of most host RNAs in the parasite system. The ability to identify host RNAs in parasites, and vice versa, will facilitate genomics approaches to understanding RNA trafficking. This review discusses the nature of host–parasite connections and the potential significance of host RNAs for the parasite. Additional research on host–parasite interactions is needed to interpret results of RNA trafficking studies, but parasitic plants may provide a fascinating new perspective on RNA trafficking.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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