Functional characterization of cellulose and chitin synthase genes in Oomycetes
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)Alternative title
Funktionell karaktärisering av cellulosa- och kitinsyntasgener i oomyceter (Swedish)
Some species of Oomycetes are well studied pathogens that cause considerable economical losses in the agriculture and aquaculture industries. Currently, there are no chemicals available that are environmentally friendly and at the same time efficient Oomycete inhibitors. The cell wall of Oomycetes consists of b-(1à3) and b-(1à6)-glucans, cellulose and in some species minute amounts of chitin. The biosynthesis of cellulose and chitin in Oomycetes is poorly understood. However, cell wall synthesis represents a potential target for new Oomycete inhibitors. In this work, cellulose and chitin synthase genes and gene products were analyzed in the plant pathogen Phytophthora infestans and in the fish pathogen Saprolegnia monoica.
A new Oomycete CesA gene family was identified, containing four subclasses of genes designated as CesA1 to 4. The gene products of CesA1, 2 and 4 contain pleckstrin homology (PH) domains located at the N-terminus, which is unique to the Oomycete CesAs. Our results show that the SmCesA2 PH domain binds to phosphoinositides, F-actin and microtubules in vitro and can co-localize with F-actin in vivo. Functional characterization of the CesA genes by gene silencing in P. infestans led to decreased cellulose content in the cell wall. The cellulose synthase inhibitors DCB and Congo Red inhibited the growth of the mycelium of S. monoica and had an up-regulating effect on SmCesA gene expression. Zoospores from P. infestans treated with DCB were unable to infect potato leaves. In addition, two full-length chitin synthase genes (Chs) were analyzed from S. monoica. Expression of SmChs2 in yeast yielded an active recombinant protein. The biochemical characterization of the in vitro product of SmChs2 confirmed that the protein is responsible for chitin formation. The chitin synthase inhibitor nikkomycin Z inhibited the SmChs2 both in vivo and in vitro.
Altogether these results show that at least some of the CesA1-4 genes are involved in cellulose biosynthesis and that synthesis of cellulose is crucial for infection of potato by P. infestans. The PH domain is involved in the interaction of CesA with the cytoskeleton. In addition, we firmly demonstrate that the SmChs2 gene encodes a catalytically active chitin synthase.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology , 2011. , 86 p.
Trita-BIO-Report, ISSN 1654-2312 ; 2011:13
cellulose biosynthesis; chitin biosynthesis; cellulose synthase gene; chitin synthase gene; Oomycetes; Phytophthora infestans; Saprolegnia monoica; pleckstrin homology domain
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-34012ISBN: 978-91-7415-971-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-34012DiVA: diva2:418553
2011-06-14, FD5, AlbaNova University centre, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Munro, Carol, Dr.
Bulone, Vincent, Professor
QC 201105312011-05-312011-05-232011-05-31Bibliographically approved
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