Author(s): OliveiraGarcia E, Deising HB
Abstract Share this page
Abstract β-1,3-Glucan and chitin are the most prominent polysaccharides of the fungal cell wall. Covalently linked, these polymers form a scaffold that determines the form and properties of vegetative and pathogenic hyphae. While the role of chitin in plant infection is well understood, the role of β-1,3-glucan is unknown. We functionally characterized the β-1,3-glucan synthase gene GLS1 of the maize (Zea mays) pathogen Colletotrichum graminicola, employing RNA interference (RNAi), GLS1 overexpression, live-cell imaging, and aniline blue fluorochrome staining. This hemibiotroph sequentially differentiates a melanized appressorium on the cuticle and biotrophic and necrotrophic hyphae in its host. Massive β-1,3-glucan contents were detected in cell walls of appressoria and necrotrophic hyphae. Unexpectedly, GLS1 expression and β-1,3-glucan contents were drastically reduced during biotrophic development. In appressoria of RNAi strains, downregulation of β-1,3-glucan synthesis increased cell wall elasticity, and the appressoria exploded. While the shape of biotrophic hyphae was unaffected in RNAi strains, necrotrophic hyphae showed severe distortions. Constitutive expression of GLS1 led to exposure of β-1,3-glucan on biotrophic hyphae, massive induction of broad-spectrum defense responses, and significantly reduced disease symptom severity. Thus, while β-1,3-glucan synthesis is required for cell wall rigidity in appressoria and fast-growing necrotrophic hyphae, its rigorous downregulation during biotrophic development represents a strategy for evading β-glucan-triggered immunity.
This article was published in Plant Cell
and referenced in Journal of Marine Science: Research & Development