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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Food Quality Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #377541

Research Project: Development of Novel Tools to Manage Fungal Plant Pathogens that Cause Postharvest Decay of Pome Fruit to Reduce Food Waste

Location: Food Quality Laboratory

Title: Delivering the goods: Fungal secretion modulates virulence during host-pathogen interactions

item BRADSHAW, MICHAEL - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item BARTHOLOMEW, HOLLY - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item Fonseca, Jorge
item Gaskins, Verneta
item PRUSKY, DOV - Volcani Center (ARO)
item Jurick, Wayne

Submitted to: Fungal Biology Reviews
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/25/2021
Publication Date: 4/20/2021
Citation: Bradshaw, M., Bartholomew, H., Fonseca, J.M., Gaskins, V.L., Prusky, D., Jurick II, W.M. 2021. Delivering the goods: Fungal secretion modulates virulence during host-pathogen interactions. Fungal Biology Reviews. 36:76-86.

Interpretive Summary: Blue mold, caused primarily by Penicillium expansum, is a major threat to the global pome fruit industry, causing multi-million-dollar losses, annually. The blue mold fungus negatively affects fruit quality, thereby reducing fresh fruit consumption, and significantly contributes to food loss. P. expansum also produces an array of mycotoxins (e.g. patulin) that are detrimental to human health. Management options are limited and the emergence of fungicide-resistant Penicillium spp. make disease management difficult. Secretion is a novel, central process that mediates blue mold decay and patulin secretion. Hence, the genetic components of this process have been targeted and shown to impact apple fruit decay. It is envisioned that new tools to control this fungus, in the form of designer microbes for control and nucleic-acid based pesticides, can be developed using this data to combat blue mold in storage.

Technical Abstract: Fungi secrete a variety of compounds that have a wide range of beneficial and negative effects on society. The compounds include some of the most powerful toxins and carcinogens as well as ethanol used in common commercial practices. Much research has focused on identifying the genes and their functions relating to the fungal secretome. Recent advances into the mechanisms by which phytopathogenic fungal secretion systems function and modulate virulence have broad implications for the agriculture and biotechnological industries. The focus of this manuscript is on secretion mechanisms in phytopathogenic fungi, with an emphasis and examples from the postharvest pathogen Penicillium expansum. Current progress in the field, synthesis of new information, and identification of knowledge gaps regarding secretion pathways and their regulation are discussed. We highlight new approaches to using novel molecular techniques to generate alternative control methods, tactics and strategies to synthetic pesticides.