United States Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, 915 West State Street, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054, U.S.A.
Mycosphaerella graminicola is an important wheat pathogen causing Septoria tritici blotch. To date, an efficient strategy to control M. graminicola has not been developed. More significantly, we have a limited understanding of the molecular mechanisms of M. graminicola pathogenicity. In this study, we attempted to characterize an MCC1-encoding c-type cyclin, a gene homologous to FCC1 in Fusarium verticillioides. Four independent MCC1 knock-out mutants were generated via Agrobacterium tumefaciens–mediated transformation. All of the MCC1 mutants showed consistent multiple phenotypes. Significant reductions in radial growth on potato dextrose agar (PDA) were observed in all of the MCC1 mutants. In addition, MCC1 gene-deletion mutants produced less aerial mycelium on PDA, showed delayed filamentous growth, had unusual hyphal swellings, produced more melanin, showed an increase in their stress tolerance response, and were reduced significantly in pathogenicity. These results indicate that the MCC1 gene is involved in multiple signaling pathways, including those involved in pathogenicity in M. graminicola.