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Fungal Genet Biol. 2011 Apr;48(4):445-55. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2011.01.001. Epub 2011 Jan 13.

Differential roles of the phospholipase C genes in fungal development and pathogenicity of Magnaporthe oryzae.

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Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Center for Fungal Genetic Resources, and Center for Fungal Pathogenesis, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-921, Republic of Korea.


Calcium plays a critical role in a variety of cellular processes in cells. However, relatively little is known about the biological effects of Ca²+ signaling on morphogenesis and pathogenesis in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae compared to other signaling pathways. We have previously demonstrated that MoPLC1-mediated calcium regulation is important for infection-related development and pathogenicity in M. oryzae. In the present study, four genes encoding phospholipase C (PLC) isozymes (MoPLC2 to MoPLC5), which differ from MoPLC1 in their domain organization, were additionally identified. The C2 domain involved in Ca²+-dependent membrane binding is found only in MoPLC2 and MoPLC3. Detailed functional analysis using deletion mutants for MoPLC2 and MoPLC3 indicated that MoPLC2 and MoPLC3 play essential roles in development. The two deletion mutants for MoPLC2 and MoPLC3 showed reduced conidiation and a defect in appressorium-mediated penetration. Reintroduction of the genes restored defects of ΔMoplc2 and ΔMoplc3. Notably, ΔMoplc2 and ΔMoplc3 mutants developed multiple appressoria on separate germ tubes of a conidium, indicating that MoPLC2- and MoPLC3-regulated signaling suppresses a feedback loop of a pathway for appressorial development. The similarity in phenotypic defects between the two mutants indicates that both MoPLC2 and MoPLC3 are important for regulation of appropriate levels of signaling molecules in a similar manner. Comparative analysis indicated that the two MoPLCs-mediated signaling pathways have interrelated, but distinct, roles in the development of M. oryzae.

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