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Eukaryot Cell. 2007 May;6(5):808-16. Epub 2007 Mar 2.

The MAD1 adhesin of Metarhizium anisopliae links adhesion with blastospore production and virulence to insects, and the MAD2 adhesin enables attachment to plants.

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  • 1Department of Entomology, 4112 Plant Science Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-4454, USA.

Abstract

Metarhizium anisopliae is a fungus of considerable metabolic and ecological versatility, being a potent insect pathogen that can also colonize plant roots. The mechanistic details of these interactions are unresolved. We provide evidence that M. anisopliae adheres to insects and plants using two different proteins, MAD1 and MAD2, that are differentially induced in insect hemolymph and plant root exudates, respectively, and produce regional localization of adhesive conidial surfaces. Expression of Mad1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae allowed this yeast to adhere to insect cuticle. Expression of Mad2 caused yeast cells to adhere to a plant surface. Our study demonstrated that as well as allowing adhesion to insects, MAD1 at the surface of M. anisopliae conidia or blastospores is required to orientate the cytoskeleton and stimulate the expression of genes involved in the cell cycle. Consequently, the disruption of Mad1 in M. anisopliae delayed germination, suppressed blastospore formation, and greatly reduced virulence to caterpillars. The disruption of Mad2 blocked the adhesion of M. anisopliae to plant epidermis but had no effects on fungal differentiation and entomopathogenicity. Thus, regulation, localization, and specificity control the functional distinction between Mad1 and Mad2 and enable M. anisopliae cells to adapt their adhesive properties to different habitats.

PMID:
17337634
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1899246
Free PMC Article

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