Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/17/2019
Publication Date: 3/17/2019
Citation: Hao, G., Kim, H., Proctor, R., McCormick, S.P. 2019. Fusarium graminearum effector targeting plant nucleus is associated with wheat head blight [abstract].
Technical Abstract: Effectors play important roles in suppression of plant immunity and promoting disease. Fusarium head blight (FHB) caused by the fungus Fusarium graminearum is one of the most devastating diseases of wheat and barley worldwide. Based on genome sequence data, F. graminearum is predicted to produce hundreds of effectors. However, the functions of the majority of these effectors remain uncharacterized. In this study, we characterized the effector FGSG_04563, which contains multiple eukaryotic nucleus signals (NLS). The nucleotide sequence of FGSG_04563 encodes 315 amino acids with a signal peptide. A fusion protein of GFP and FGSG_04563 NLS accumulated in plant nucleus via Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana. FGSG_04563 also suppressed cell death induced by BAX when co-expressed in N. benthamiana. Expression of FGSG_04563 was induced at 1 day post inoculation (dpi), peaked at 3 dpi and gradually decreased thereafter. Preliminary analysis indicates that a FGSG_04563 mutant induces less severe FHB than wild-type F. graminearum. These results indicate that FGSG_04563 contributes to pathogenesis of F. graminearum on wheat by interfering with plant immune responses. Further experiments are underway to replicate virulence assays and further elucidate the mode of action of FGSG_04563 in FHB pathogenesis.