The protein phosphatase gene MaPpt1 acts as a programmer of microcycle conidiation and a negative regulator of UV-B tolerance in Metarhizium acridum
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The Ser/Thr protein phosphatase Ppt1 (yeast)/PP5 (humans) has been implicated in signal transduction–mediated growth and differentiation, DNA damage/repair, cell cycle progression, and heat shock responses. Little, however, is known concerning the functions of Ppt1/PP5 in filamentous fungi. In this study, the Ppt1 gene MaPpt1 was characterized in the insect pathogenic fungus, Metarhizium acridum. The MaPpt1 protein features a three-tandem tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain and a peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase-like (PP2Ac) domain. Subcellular localization using an MaPpt1::eGFP fusion protein revealed that MaPpt1 was localized in the cytoplasm of spores, but gathered at the septa in growing hyphae. Targeted gene inactivation of MaPpt1 in M. acridum resulted in unexpected reprogramming of normal aerial conidiation to microcycle conidiation. Although overall vegetative growth was unaffected, a significant increase in conidial yield was noted in ΔMaPpt1. Stress-responsive phenotypes and virulence were largely unaffected in ΔMaPpt1. Exceptionally, ΔMaPpt1 displayed increased UV tolerance compared to wild type. Digital gene expression data revealed that MaPpt1 mediates transcription of sets of genes involved in conidiation, polarized growth, cell cycle, cell proliferation, DNA replication and repair, and some important signaling pathways. These data indicate a unique role for Ppt1 in filamentous fungal development and differentiation.
KeywordsProtein phosphatase Ppt1 Metarhizium acridum Microcycle conidiation UV tolerance
This study was funded by Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31272090), the Natural Science Foundation Project of Chongqing (CSTC 2018jcyjAX0554), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (106112017CDJQJ298831).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.
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