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Sclerotinia sclerotiorum γ-Glutamyl Transpeptidase (Ss-Ggt1) Is Required for Regulating Glutathione Accumulation and Development of Sclerotia and Compound Appressoria

March 2012 , Volume 25 , Number  3
Pages  412 - 420

Moyi Li,1 Xiaofei Liang,2 and Jeffrey A. Rollins2

1Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and 2Department of Plant Pathology, University of Florida, Gainesville 32611, U.S.A.

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Accepted 27 October 2011.

Transcripts encoding Sclerotinia sclerotiorum γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (Ss-Ggt1) were found to accumulate specifically during sclerotium, apothecium, and compound appressorium development in S. sclerotiorum. To determine the requirement of this protein in these developmental processes, gene deletion mutants of Ss-ggt1 were generated and five independent homokaryotic ΔSs-ggt1 mutants were characterized. All deletion mutants overproduced sclerotial initials that were arrested in further development or eventually produced sclerotia with aberrant rind layers. During incubation for carpogenic germination, these sclerotia decayed and failed to produce apothecia. Total glutathione accumulation was approximately 10-fold higher and H2O2 hyperaccumulated in ΔSs-ggt1 sclerotia compared with the wild type. Production of compound appressoria was also negatively affected. On host plants, these mutants exhibited a defect in infection efficiency and a delay in initial symptom development unless the host tissue was wounded prior to inoculation. These results suggest that Ss-Ggt1 is the primary enzyme involved in glutathione recycling during these key developmental stages of the S. sclerotiorum life cycle but Ss-Ggt1 is not required for host colonization and symptom development. The accumulation of oxidized glutathione is hypothesized to negatively impact these developmental processes by disrupting the dynamic redox environment associated with multicellular development.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society