The global regulator of pathogenesis PnCon7 positively regulates Tox3 effector gene expression through direct interaction in the wheat pathogen Parastagonospora nodorum

Shao Yu Lin, Yit Heng Chooi, Peter S. Solomon

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Abstract

To investigate effector gene regulation in the wheat pathogenic fungus Parastagonospora nodorum, the promoter and expression of Tox3 was characterised through a series of complementary approaches. Promoter deletion and DNase I footprinting experiments identified a 25 bp region in the Tox3 promoter as being required for transcription. Subsequent yeast one-hybrid analysis using the DNA sequence as bait identified that interacting partner as the C2H2 zinc finger transcription factor PnCon7, a putative master regulator of pathogenesis. Silencing of PnCon7 resulted in the down-regulation of Tox3 demonstrating that the transcription factor has a positive regulatory role on gene expression. Analysis of Tox3 expression in the PnCon7 silenced strains revealed a strong correlation with PnCon7 transcript levels, supportive of a direct regulatory role. Subsequent pathogenicity assays using PnCon7-silenced isolates revealed that the transcription factor was required for Tox3-mediated disease. The expression of two other necrotrophic effectors (ToxA and Tox1) was also affected but in a non-dose dependent manner suggesting that the regulatory role of PnCon7 on these genes was indirect. Collectively, these data have advanced our fundamental understanding of the Con7 master regulator of pathogenesis by demonstrating its positive regulatory role on the Tox3 effector in P. nodorum through direct interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-90
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Volume109
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

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Triticum
Transcription Factors
Gene Expression
Deoxyribonuclease I
DNA Sequence Analysis
Genes
Virulence
Fungi
Down-Regulation
Yeasts
CYS2-HIS2 Zinc Fingers

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abstract = "To investigate effector gene regulation in the wheat pathogenic fungus Parastagonospora nodorum, the promoter and expression of Tox3 was characterised through a series of complementary approaches. Promoter deletion and DNase I footprinting experiments identified a 25 bp region in the Tox3 promoter as being required for transcription. Subsequent yeast one-hybrid analysis using the DNA sequence as bait identified that interacting partner as the C2H2 zinc finger transcription factor PnCon7, a putative master regulator of pathogenesis. Silencing of PnCon7 resulted in the down-regulation of Tox3 demonstrating that the transcription factor has a positive regulatory role on gene expression. Analysis of Tox3 expression in the PnCon7 silenced strains revealed a strong correlation with PnCon7 transcript levels, supportive of a direct regulatory role. Subsequent pathogenicity assays using PnCon7-silenced isolates revealed that the transcription factor was required for Tox3-mediated disease. The expression of two other necrotrophic effectors (ToxA and Tox1) was also affected but in a non-dose dependent manner suggesting that the regulatory role of PnCon7 on these genes was indirect. Collectively, these data have advanced our fundamental understanding of the Con7 master regulator of pathogenesis by demonstrating its positive regulatory role on the Tox3 effector in P. nodorum through direct interaction.",
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