FgEaf6 regulates virulence, asexual/sexual development and conidial septation in Fusarium graminearum
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Fusarium graminearum is a destructive fungal pathogen and a major cause of Fusarium head blight (FHB) which results in severe grain yield losses and quality reduction. Additionally, the pathogen produces mycotoxins during plant infection, which are harmful to the health of humans and livestock. As it is well known that lysine acetyltransferase complexes play important roles in pathogenesis, the roles of the Eaf6 homolog-containing complex have not been reported in fungal pathogen. In this study, a Eaf6 homolog FgEaf6 was identified in F. graminearum. To investigate the functions of FgEaf6, the gene was deleted using the split-marker method. ΔFgEaf6 mutant exhibited manifold defects in hyphal growth, conidial septation, asexual and sexual reproduction. Moreover, the virulence of the ΔFgEaf6 mutant was drastically reduced in both wheat heads and wheat coleoptiles. However, the FgEaf6 gene deletion did not impact DON production. An FgEaf6–gfp fusion localized to the nucleus and a conserved coiled-coil (C–C) domain was predicted in the sequence. Mutants with deletions in the C–C domain displayed similar defects during development and virulence as observed in the ΔFgEaf6 mutant. Moreover, the truncated gene was cytoplasm localized. In conclusion, the FgEaf6 encodes a nuclear protein, which plays key regulatory roles in hyphal growth, conidial septation, asexual/sexual reproduction, and the virulence of F. graminearum. The C–C is an indispensable domain in the gene. This is the first report on Eaf6 homolog functioning in virulence of fungal pathogen.
KeywordsFusarium graminearum C–C domain Asexual reproduction Sexual reproduction Virulence
This study was supported by the open project of the State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas (CSBAA2016001).
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