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Characterization of the Gene Encoding Pisatin Demethylase (FoPDA1) in Fusarium oxysporum

December 2011 , Volume 24 , Number  12
Pages  1,482 - 1,491

Jeffrey J. Coleman,1 Catherine C. Wasmann,1 Toshiyuki Usami,2 Gerard J. White,1 Esteban D. Temporini,1 Kevin McCluskey,1 and Hans D. VanEtten1

1School of Plant Sciences, Division of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Room 303 Forbes Building, University of Arizona, Tucson 85721 U.S.A.; 2Graduate School of Horticulture, Chiba University, Matsudo, Chiba, 271-8510 Japan

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Accepted 12 July 2011.

The pea pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. pisi is able to detoxify pisatin produced as a defense response by pea, and the gene encoding this detoxification mechanism, FoPDA1, was 82% identical to the cytochrome P450 pisatin demethylase PDA1 gene in Nectria haematococca. A survey of F. oxysporum f. sp. pisi isolates demonstrated that, as in N. haematococca, the PDA gene of F. oxysporum f. sp. pisi is generally located on a small chromosome. In N. haematococca, PDA1 is in a cluster of pea pathogenicity (PEP) genes. Homologs of these PEP genes also were found in the F. oxysporum f. sp. pisi isolates, and PEP1 and PEP5 were sometimes located on the same small chromosomes as the FoPDA1 homologs. Transforming FoPDA1 into a pda F. oxysporum f. sp. lini isolate conferred pda activity and promoted pathogenicity on pea to some transformants. Different hybridization patterns of FoPDA1 were found in F. oxysporum f. sp. pisi but these did not correlate with the races of the fungus, suggesting that races within this forma specialis arose independently of FoPDA1. FoPDA1 also was present in the formae speciales lini, glycines, and dianthi of F. oxysporum but they had mutations resulting in nonfunctional proteins. However, an active FoPDA1 was present in F. oxysporum f. sp. phaseoli and it was virulent on pea. Despite their evolutionary distance, the amino acid sequences of FoPDA1 of F. oxysporum f. sp. pisi and F. oxysporum f. sp. phaseoli revealed only six amino acid differences, consistent with a horizontal gene transfer event accounting for the origin of these genes.

© 2011 The American Phytopathological Society