1887

Abstract

-Aminolaevulinic acid (ALA) is synthesized in fungi by ALA synthase, a key enzyme in the synthesis of haem. The requirement for ALA synthase in to cause disease in wheat was investigated. The single gene encoding ALA synthase () was cloned and characterized. Expression analysis determined that transcription was up-regulated during germination and also towards the latter stages of the infection. The gene was further characterized by homologous gene replacement. The inactivation of resulted in strains producing severely stunted germ tubes leading quickly to death. The strains could be recovered by supplementation with 33 μM ALA. Pathogenicity assays revealed the strains were essentially non-pathogenic, inferring a key role for the synthesis of ALA during growth. Supplementing the strains with ALA restored growth and also pathogenicity for up to 5 days after inoculation. Further examination by inoculating the strains onto wounded leaves found that pathogenicity was only partially restored, suggesting that host-derived levels of ALA are not sufficient to support growth. This study has identified a key role for fungal ALA synthesis during infection and revealed its potential as an antifungal target.

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2006-05-01
2019-11-21
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