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NADPH Oxidases Are Involved in Differentiation and Pathogenicity in Botrytis cinerea

June 2008 , Volume 21 , Number  6
Pages  808 - 819

Nadja Segmüller,1 Leonie Kokkelink,1 Sabine Giesbert,1 Daniela Odinius,1 Jan van Kan,2 and Paul Tudzynski1

1Institut für Botanik, Westf. Wilhelms-Universität, Schlossgarten 3, D-48149 Münster, Germany; 2Laboratory of Phytopathology, Wageningen University, P.O. Box 80 25, NL-6700 EE Wageningen, The Netherlands

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Accepted 13 February 2008.

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADPH) oxidases have been shown to be involved in various differentiation processes in fungi. We investigated the role of two NADPH oxidases in the necrotrophic phytopathogenic fungus, Botrytis cinerea. The genes bcnoxA and bcnoxB were cloned and characterized; their deduced amino acid sequences show high homology to fungal NADPH oxidases. Analyses of single and double knock-out mutants of both NADPH oxidase genes showed that both bcnoxA and bcnoxB are involved in formation of sclerotia. Both genes have a great impact on pathogenicity: whereas bcnoxB mutants showed a retarded formation of primary lesions, probably due to an impaired formation of penetration structures, bcnoxA mutants were able to penetrate host tissue in the same way as the wild type but were much slower in colonizing the host tissue. Double mutants showed an additive effect: they were aberrant in penetration and colonization of plant tissue and, therefore, almost nonpathogenic. To study the structure of the fungal Nox complex in more detail, bcnoxR (encoding a homolog of the mammalian p67phox, a regulatory subunit of the Nox complex) was functionally characterized. The phenotype of ΔbcnoxR mutants is identical to that of ΔbcnoxAB double mutants, providing evidence that BcnoxR is involved in activation of both Bcnox enzymes.

Additional keywords:reactive oxygen species (ROS).

© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society