A nitrogen response pathway regulates virulence in plant pathogenic fungi

Role of TOR and the bZIP protein MeaB

Manuel S. López-Berges, Nicolas Rispail, Rafael C. Prados-Rosales, Antonio di Pietro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Virulence in plant pathogenic fungi is controlled through a variety of cellular pathways in response to the host environment. Nitrogen limitation has been proposed to act as a key signal to trigger the in planta expression of virulence genes. Moreover, a conserved Pathogenicity mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade is strictly required for plant infection in a wide range of pathogens. We investigated the relationship between nitrogen signaling and the Pathogenicity MAPK cascade in controlling infectious growth of the vascular wilt fungus Fusarium oxysporum. Several MAPKactivated virulence functions such as invasive growth, vegetative hyphal fusion and host adhesion were strongly repressed in the presence of the preferred nitrogen source ammonium. Repression of these functions by ammonium was abolished by L-Methionine sulfoximine (MSX) or rapamycin, two specific inhibitors of Gln synthetase and the protein kinase TOR (Target Of Rapamycin), respectively, and was dependent on the bZIP protein MeaB. Supplying tomato plants with ammonium rather than nitrate resulted in a significant delay of vascular wilt symptoms caused by the F. oxysporum wild type strain, but not by the ΔmeaB mutant. Ammonium also repressed invasive growth in two other pathogens, the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae and the wheat head blight pathogen Fusarium graminearum. Our results suggest the presence of a conserved nitrogen-responsive pathway that operates via TOR and MeaB to control infectious growth in plant pathogenic fungi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPlant Signaling and Behavior
Volume5
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors
plant pathogenic fungi
Sirolimus
Virulence
Fungi
Nitrogen
virulence
vascular wilt
Ammonium Compounds
nitrogen
Fusarium oxysporum
mitogen-activated protein kinase
Fusarium
pathogens
Growth
Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
pathogenicity
Blood Vessels
head blight
Magnaporthe oryzae

Keywords

  • Mapk
  • Meab
  • Nitrogen
  • Rapamycin
  • Tor
  • Virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

A nitrogen response pathway regulates virulence in plant pathogenic fungi : Role of TOR and the bZIP protein MeaB. / López-Berges, Manuel S.; Rispail, Nicolas; Prados-Rosales, Rafael C.; di Pietro, Antonio.

In: Plant Signaling and Behavior, Vol. 5, No. 12, 12.2010.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

López-Berges, Manuel S. ; Rispail, Nicolas ; Prados-Rosales, Rafael C. ; di Pietro, Antonio. / A nitrogen response pathway regulates virulence in plant pathogenic fungi : Role of TOR and the bZIP protein MeaB. In: Plant Signaling and Behavior. 2010 ; Vol. 5, No. 12.
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