Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Microbiol. 2007 Jun;9(6):1491-506. Epub 2007 Jan 23.

Two mitogen-activated protein kinase signalling cascades mediate basal resistance to antifungal plant defensins in Fusarium graminearum.

Author information

Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, St Louis, MO 63132, USA.


Antifungal defensins, MsDef1 and MtDef4, from Medicago spp., inhibit the growth of Fusarium graminearum, which causes head blight disease in cereals. In order to determine the signalling cascades that are modulated by these defensins, we have isolated several insertional mutants of F. graminearum that exhibit hypersensitivity to MsDef1, but not to MtDef4. The molecular characterization of two of these mutants, designated enhanced sensitivity to defensin (esd), has revealed that the Mgv1 and Gpmk1 MAP kinase signalling cascades play a major role in regulating sensitivity of F. graminearum to MsDef1, but not to MtDef4. The Hog1 MAP kinase signalling cascade, which is responsible for adaptation of this fungus to hyperosmotic stress, does not participate in the fungal response to these defensins. Significantly, the esd mutants also exhibit hypersensitivity to other tested defensins and are highly compromised in their pathogenesis on wheat heads and tomato fruits. The studies reported here for the first time implicate two MAP kinase signalling cascades in a plant defensin-mediated alteration of fungal growth. Based on our findings, we propose that specific MAP kinase signalling cascades are essential for protection of a fungal pathogen from the antimicrobial proteins of its host plant.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center