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Curr Genet. 2015 Aug;61(3):239-49. doi: 10.1007/s00294-014-0439-9. Epub 2014 Aug 12.

Stress response signaling and virulence: insights from entomopathogenic fungi.

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Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA,


The Ascomycete fungal insect pathogens, Beauveria and Metarhizium spp. have emerged as model systems with which to probe diverse aspects of fungal growth, stress response, and pathogenesis. Due to the availability of genomic resources and the development of robust methods for genetic manipulation, the last 5 years have witnessed a rapid increase in the molecular characterization of genes and their pathways involved in stress response and signal transduction in these fungi. These studies have been performed mainly via characterization of gene deletion/knockout mutants and have included the targeting of general proteins involved in stress response and/or virulence, e.g. catalases, superoxide dismutases, and osmolyte balance maintenance enzymes, membrane proteins and signaling pathways including GPI anchored proteins and G-protein coupled membrane receptors, MAPK pathways, e.g. (i) the pheromone/nutrient sensing, Fus3/Kss1, (ii) the cell wall integrity, Mpk1, and (iii) the high osmolarity, Hog1, the PKA/adenyl cyclase pathway, and various downstream transcription factors, e.g. Msn2, CreA and Pac1. Here, we will discuss current research that strongly suggests extensive underlying contributions of these biochemical and signaling pathways to both abiotic stress response and virulence.

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