Susanna A. Braus-Stromeyer,
Van Tuan Tran, and
Gerhard H. Braus
Institut für Mikrobiologie und Genetik, Abteilung Molekulare Mikrobiologie und Genetik Georg-August-Universität, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
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Accepted 18 July 2013.
The plant-pathogenic fungus Verticillium longisporum is a causal agent of early senescence and ripening in cruciferous crops like Brassica napus. Verticillium wilts have become serious agricultural threats in recent decades. Verticillium species infect host plants through the roots and colonize xylem vessels of the host plant. The xylem fluid provides an environment with limited carbon sources and unbalanced amino acid supply, which requires V. longisporum to induce the cross-pathway control of amino acid biosynthesis. RNA-mediated gene silencing reduced the expression of the two CPC1 isogenes (VlCPC1-1 and VlCPC1-2) of the allodiploid V. longisporum up to 85%. VlCPC1 encodes the conserved transcription factor of the cross-pathway control. The silenced mutants were highly sensitive to amino-acid starvation, and the infected plants showed significantly fewer symptoms such as stunting or early senescence in oilseed rape plant infection assays. Consistently, deletion of single CPC1 of the haploid V. dahliae resulted in strains that are sensitive to amino-acid starvation and cause strongly reduced symptoms in the plant-host tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). The allodiploid V. longisporum and the haploid V. dahliae are the first phytopathogenic fungi that were shown to require CPC1 for infection and colonization of their respective host plants, oilseed rape and tomato.
© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society