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Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2019 Apr 1. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-10-18-0292-R. [Epub ahead of print]

The methylcitrate cycle is required for development and virulence in the rice blast fungus Pyricularia oryzae.

Author information

1
Zhejiang University, 12377, State Key Laboratory for Rice Biology, College of Life Sciences, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China ; 782653756@qq.com.
2
Zhejiang University, 12377, State Key Laboratory for Rice Biology, College of Life Sciences, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China ; 542810136@qq.com.
3
Zhejiang University, 12377, State Key Laboratory for Rice Biology, College of Life Sciences, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China ; 951701450@qq.com.
4
Zhejiang University, 12377, State Key Laboratory for Rice Biology, College of Life Sciences, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China ; 1332604395@qq.com.
5
Zhejiang University, 12377, State Key Laboratory for Rice Biology, Biotechnology Institute, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China ; xhliu@zju.edu.cn.
6
Zhejiang University, 12377, State Key Laboratory for Rice Biology, Biotechnology Institute, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China ; fuchenglin@zju.edu.cn.
7
Zhejiang University, 12377, State Key Laboratory for Rice Biology, College of Life Sciences, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China ; jplu@zju.edu.cn.

Abstract

The methylcitrate cycle metabolizes propionyl-CoA, a toxic metabolite, into pyruvate. Pyricularia oryzae (syn. Magnaporthe oryzae) is a phytopathogenic fungus that causes a destructive blast disease in rice and wheat. We characterized the essential roles of the methylcitrate cycle in the development and virulence of P. oryzae using functional genomics. In P. oryzae, the transcript levels of MCS1 and MCL1 which encode a 2-methylcitrate synthase and a 2-methylisocitrate lyase, respectively, were up-regulated during appressorium formation and when grown on propionyl-CoA-producing carbon sources. We found that deletion of MCS1 and MCL1 inhibited fungal growth on media containing both glucose and propionate, and media using propionate or propionyl-CoA-producing amino acids (valine, isoleucine, methionine, and threonine) as the sole carbon or nitrogen sources. The Δmcs1 mutant formed sparse aerial hyphae and did not produce conidia on complete medium (CM), while the Δmcl1 mutant showed decreased conidiation. The aerial mycelium of Δmcs1 displayed lowered NAD+/NADH ratio, reduced nitric oxide content, and down-regulated transcription of hydrophobin genes. Δmcl1 showed reduced appressorium turgor, severely delayed plant penetration, and weakened virulence. Addition of acetate recovered the growth of the wild type and Δmcs1 on medium containing both glucose and propionate and recovered the conidiation of both Δmcs1 and Δmcl1 on CM by reducing propionyl-CoA formation. Deletion of MCL1 together with ICL1, an isocitrate lyase gene in the glyoxylate cycle, greatly reduced the mutant's virulence as compared to the single gene deletion mutants (Δicl1 and Δmcl1).This experimental evidence provides important information about the role of the methylcitrate cycle in development and virulence of P. oryzae by detoxification of propionyl-CoA and 2-methylisocitrate.

PMID:
30933666
DOI:
10.1094/MPMI-10-18-0292-R

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