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Ctf1, a transcriptional activator of cutinase and lipase genes in Fusarium oxysporum is dispensable for virulence
- ROCHA, ANA LILIA MARTÍNEZ, DI PIETRO, ANTONIO, RUIZ‐ROLDÁN, CARMEN, RONCERO, M. ISABEL G.
- Molecular plant pathology 2008 v.9 no.3 pp. 293-304
- Aspergillus nidulellus, Fusarium oxysporum, Fusarium solani, Fusarium wilt, acid hydrolysis, aerial parts, alleles, cutinase, fatty acids, fruits, gene expression, mutants, pathogens, peas, roots, stems, tomatoes, transcription factors, triacylglycerol lipase, virulence, zinc finger motif
- Cutinolytic enzymes are secreted by fungal pathogens attacking the aerial parts of the plant, to facilitate penetration of the outermost cuticular barrier of the host. The role of cutinases in soil‐borne root pathogens has not been studied thus far. Here we report the characterization of the zinc finger transcription factor Ctf1 from the vascular wilt fungus Fusarium oxysporum, a functional orthologue of CTF1α that controls expression of cutinase genes and virulence in the pea stem pathogen Fusarium solani f. sp. pisi. Mutants carrying a Δctf1 loss‐of‐function allele grown on inducing substrates failed to activate extracellular cutinolytic activity and expression of the cut1 and lip1 genes, encoding a putative cutinase and lipase, respectively, whereas strains harbouring a ctf1C allele in which the ctf1 coding region was fused to the strong constitutive Aspergillus nidulans gpdA promoter showed increased induction of cutinase activity and gene expression. These results suggest that F. oxysporum Ctf1 mediates expression of genes involved in fatty acid hydrolysis. However, expression of lip1 during root infection was not dependent on Ctf1, and virulence of the ctf1 mutants on tomato plants and fruits was indistinguishable from that of the wild‐type. Thus, in contrast to the stem pathogen F. solani, Ctf1 is not essential for virulence in the root pathogen F. oxysporum.