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Poster: Molecular & Cellular Plant-Microbe Interactions: MPMI


The MAP kinase kinase kinase gene, CpBck1, regulates sectorization and pathogenicity of the phytopathogenic fungus Cryphonectria parasitica.
D. KIM (1) (1) Chonbuk National University, Korea

CpBck1, an ortholog of the cell-wall integrity mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, was cloned and characterized from the chestnut blight fungus Cryphonectria parasitica. The CpBck1-null mutant displayed cell wall integrity–related phenotypic changes such as abnormal cell morphology and wall formation and hypersensitivity to cell wall-disrupting agents. In addition, the mutant showed severely retarded growth without any sign of normal development, such as hyphal differentiation, conidiation, or pigmentation. As the culture proceeded, the mutant colony showed sporadic sectorization. Once sectored, the sectored phenotype of robust mycelial growth without differentiation was stably inherited. Compared with the wild type, both the parental CpBck1-null mutant and the sectored progeny exhibited marked impaired virulence. The present study revealed that a mutation in a signaling pathway component related to cell-wall integrity resulted in sporadic sectorization and these sectored phenotypes were stably inherited, suggesting that this signal transduction pathway is implicated in adaptive genetic changes for sectorization.