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Title: Food Fight: Fungal Foe Frustration (Fusarium verticillioides vs. the world of xenobiotics)

item Gold, Scott
item GAO, MINGLU - University Of Georgia
item CRENSHAW, NICOLE - University Of Georgia
item RATH, MANISHA - University Of Georgia
item BLACUTT, ALEX - University Of Georgia
item GAO, SHAN - University Of Georgia
item Glenn, Anthony - Tony

Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/14/2014
Publication Date: 8/9/2014
Citation: Gold, S.E., Gao, M., Crenshaw, N., Rath, M., Blacutt, A., Gao, S., Glenn, A.E. 2014. Food Fight: Fungal Foe Frustration (Fusarium verticillioides vs. the world of xenobiotics). American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting. Poster 54-P.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Fusarium verticillioides infects maize and produces the fumonisin mycotoxins. The genome of the fungus encodes approximately 30 proteins containing beta-lactamase domains that are roughly evenly split between two families, metallo beta-lactamases and cephalosporinases. In bacteria beta-lactamases are well known to confer resistance to antibiotics, including penicillin. However, their roles in fungal biology are cryptic. In F. verticillioides the function of only one of these genes (FVEG_08291) has been demonstrated. This gene is critical for resistance to the maize benzoxazolinone phytoanticipins. The enzyme hydrolyzes 2-benzoxazolinone (BOA), which contains a gamma-lactam moiety, to produce the intermediate 2-aminophenol in the detoxification pathway. We hypothesize that many of the F. verticillioides beta-lactamases function similarly to FVEG_08291 to detoxify environmental xenobiotics. To test this hypothesis, we are engaged in a long-term project to delete each gene within the two beta-lactamase families. This is being accomplished primarily through undergraduate student research projects. We plan to test the mutant collection for increased sensitivity to various lactam containing compounds, particularly those known from organisms with overlapping niche space with F. verticillioides, such as the maize endophyte Acremonium zeae and its lactam containing antimicrobial metabolites, pyrrocidines A and B. This presentation will provide a snap shot on our progress.