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Expression of Five Endopolygalacturonase Genes and Demonstration that MfPG1 Overexpression Diminishes Virulence in the Brown Rot Pathogen Monilinia fructicola.

  • Author(s): Chou, Chien-Ming
  • Yu, Fang-Yi
  • Yu, Pei-Ling
  • Ho, Jia-Fang
  • Bostock, Richard M
  • Chung, Kuang-Ren
  • Huang, Jenn-Wen
  • Lee, Miin-Huey
  • et al.
Abstract

Monilinia fructicola is a devastating pathogen on stone fruits, causing blossom blight and fruit rot. Little is known about pathogenic mechanisms in M. fructicola and related Monilinia species. In this study, five endopolygalacturonase (endo-PG) genes were cloned and functionally characterized in M. fructicola. Quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) revealed that the five MfPG genes are differentially expressed during pathogenesis and in culture under various pH regimes and carbon and nitrogen sources. MfPG1 encodes the major endo-PG and is expressed to significantly higher levels compared to the other four MfPGs in culture and in planta. MfPG1 function during pathogenesis was evaluated by examining the disease phenotypes and gene expression patterns in M. fructicola MfPG1-overexpressing strains and in strains carrying the β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene fused with MfPG1 (MfPG1-GUS). The MFPG1-GUS reporter was expressed in situ in conidia and hyphae following inoculation of flower petals, and qRT-PCR analysis confirmed MfPG1 expression during pathogenesis. MfPG1-overexpressing strains produced smaller lesions and higher levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on the petals of peach and rose flowers than the wild-type strain, suggesting that MfPG1 affecting fungal virulence might be in part resulted from the increase of ROS in the Prunus-M. fructicola interactions.

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