1887

Abstract

The homothallic ascomycete fungus (anamorph: ) is a major toxigenic plant pathogen that causes head blight disease on small-grain cereals. The fungus produces the mycotoxins deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEA) in infected hosts, posing a threat to human and animal health. Despite its agricultural and toxicological importance, the molecular mechanisms underlying its growth, development and virulence remain largely unknown. To better understand such mechanisms, we studied the heterotrimeric G proteins of , which are known to control crucial signalling pathways that regulate various cellular and developmental responses in fungi. Three putative G subunits, , and , and one G subunit, , were identified in the genome. Deletion of , a homologue of the G gene , resulted in female sterility and enhanced DON and ZEA production, suggesting that is required for normal sexual reproduction and repression of toxin biosynthesis. The production of DON and ZEA was also enhanced in the mutant, suggesting that both G and G negatively control mycotoxin production. Deletion of , which encodes a G protein similar to . GanB, caused reduced pathogenicity and increased chitin accumulation in the cell wall, implying that has multiple functions. Our study shows that heterotrimeric G protein subunits can regulate vegetative growth, sexual development, toxin production and pathogenicity.

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2008-02-01
2020-04-02
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