Title: Impact of temperature stress and validamycin A on compatible solutes and fumonisin production in F. verticillioides: role of trehalose-6-phosphate synthase
Authors: Boudreau BA, Larson TM, Brown DW, Busman M, Roberts ES, Kendra DF, McQuade KL
Journal: Fungal Genet Biol
Accepted date: 2013 Jun 2
Interpretive summary: Fusarium verticillioides is a fungus that causes disease in corn that can result in contamination of corn and corn products with a number of fungal toxins (mycotoxins) including fumonisins. The characterization of the fungal response to stress from changes in environmental factors during growth could provide new targets to limit fungal growth and toxin contamination. One common fungal response to stress is to accumulate small molecules, such as trehalose, a disaccharide of glucose, that help protect against changes in water levels. In the current study, we examined the affect of heat or cold stress or treatment with validamycin A, an inhibitor of trehalose synthesis, on accumulation of compatible solutes and fumonisin production. We also examined the role of the gene encoding trehalose-6-phosphate synthase in trehalose synthesis. Genetic mutant strains were unable to synthesize trehalose, displayed altered growth characteristics, were reduced in their ability to cause disease of maize, and produced negligible fumonisin, suggesting an interplay between the trehalose and fumonisin metabolic pathways and pathogenicity. This research is critical to assessing the role of environmental stresses in plant disease, and will be of use to plant pathologists, plant breeders, and other scientists focused on the development of novel strategies to limit or control toxin contamination of grain in order to keep our food supply safe.
Publication date: 2013 Aug