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Infect Immun. 2004 Mar;72(3):1760-6.

Fusarium oxysporum as a multihost model for the genetic dissection of fungal virulence in plants and mammals.

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  • 1Unitat de Microbiologia, Facultat de Medicina i Ciéncies de la Salut, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 43201 Reus, Tarragona, Spain.

Abstract

Fungal pathogens cause disease in plant and animal hosts. The extent to which infection mechanisms are conserved between both classes of hosts is unknown. We present a dual plant-animal infection system based on a single strain of Fusarium oxysporum, the causal agent of vascular wilt disease in plants and an emerging opportunistic human pathogen. Injection of microconidia of a well-characterized tomato pathogenic isolate (isolate 4287) into the lateral tail vein of immunodepressed mice resulted in disseminated infection of multiple organs and death of the animals. Knockout mutants in genes encoding a mitogen-activated protein kinase, a pH response transcription factor, or a class V chitin synthase previously shown to be implicated in virulence on tomato plants were tested in the mouse model. The results indicate that some of these virulence factors play functionally distinct roles during the infection of tomato plants and mice. Thus, a single F. oxysporum strain can be used to study fungal virulence mechanisms in plant and mammalian pathogenesis.

PMID:
14977985
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC356063
Free PMC Article
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