Submitted to: Fungal Genetics Conference/Asilomar
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2005
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Fumonisins are secondary metabolites produced by several fungi, including Fusarium verticillioides, and are linked to numerous animal diseases, neural tube defects and cancer in humans. F. verticillioides, normally an endophyte, can cause several diseases of corn. Damaged and fumonisin contaminated corn result in the loss of millions of dollars each year to farmers world-wide. We reasoned that a better understanding of the genetic regulation of fumonisin production as well as the F. verticillioides-plant disease process will enable the development of new strategies to limit fungal damage. Recently, we created nine F. verticillioides cDNA libraries which yielded 87,000 ESTs and compiled into 11,119 unique sequences. The presence of numerous unique ESTs in each library suggested that many of them are differentially expressed. We screened the unique sequences and identified a set that may encode for Zn(II)2 Cys6 or Cys2-His2 Zn(II) transcriptional factors. The pattern of differential expression of many of these genes suggest that some may play a role in regulating fumonisin biosynthesis and/or a role in the fungal-plant disease process. We have begun to examine the role these genes may play by creating disruption vectors. We describes the identification of the target genes based on predicted protein sequence, sequence similarities, differential expression, as well as the development of disruption vectors and our efforts to determine the consequences to F. verticillioides of the loss of these genes.