Functional evaluation of a homologue of plant rapid alkalinisation factor (RALF) peptides in Fusarium graminearum

The cereal infecting fungus Fusarium graminearum is predicted to possess a single homologue of plant RALF (rapid alkalinisation factor) peptides. Fusarium mutant strains lacking FgRALF were generated and found to exhibit wildtype virulence on wheat and Arabidopsis floral tissue. Arabidopsis lines constitutively overexpressing FgRALF exhibited no obvious change in susceptibility to F. graminearum leaf infection. In contrast transient virus-mediated over-expression (VOX) of FgRALF in wheat prior to F. graminearum infection, slightly increased the rate of fungal colonisation of floral tissue. Ten putative Feronia (FER) receptors of RALF peptide were identified bioinformatically in hexaploid wheat (Triticum aestivum). Transient silencing of two wheat FER homoeologous genes prior to F. graminearum inoculation did not alter the subsequent interaction outcome. Collectively, our VOX results show that the fungal RALF peptide may be a minor contributor in F. graminearum virulence but results from fungal gene deletion experiments indicate potential functional redundancy within the F. graminearum genome. We demonstrate that virus-mediated over-expression is a useful tool to provide novel information about gene/protein function when results from gene deletion/disruption experimentation were uninformative.

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  • Name: Wood, Ana K.M., Type: Corresponding Author,
  • Name: Walker, Catherine, Type: Author,
  • Name: Lee, Wing-Sham, Type: Author,
  • Name: Urban, Martin, Type: Author,
  • Name: Hammond-Kosack, Kim E., Type: Author,
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Article Is Open Access true
Article License Type cc-by-nc-nd
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DFW Organisation RRes
DFW Work Package 2
DOI 10.1016/j.funbio.2020.05.001
Date Last Updated 2020-11-30T15:51:49.237535
Evidence open (via crossref license)
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Open Access Status hybrid
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