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bZIP transcription factor CgAP1 is essential for oxidative stress tolerance and full virulence of the poplar anthracnose fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides

Sun, Yingjiao, Wang, Yonglin, Tian, Chengming
Fungal genetics and biology 2016 v.95 pp. 58-66
Glomerella cingulata, Populus, anthracnose, appressoria, conidia, genes, hyphae, leaves, mutants, oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species, stress response, stress tolerance, transcription factors, virulence, yeasts
Yeast AP1 transcription factor is a regulator of oxidative stress response. Here, we report the identification and characterization of CgAP1, an ortholog of YAP1 in poplar anthracnose fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. The expression of CgAP1 was highly induced by reactive oxygen species. CgAP1 deletion mutants displayed enhanced sensitivity to oxidative stress compared with the wild-type strain, and their poplar leaf virulence was obviously reduced. However, the mutants exhibited no obvious defects in aerial hyphal growth, conidia production, and appressoria formation. CgAP1::eGFP fusion protein localized to the nucleus after TBH (tert-Butyl hydroperoxide) treatment, suggesting that CgAP1 functions as a redox sensor in C. gloeosporioides. In addition, CgAP1 prevented the accumulation of ROS during early stages of biotrophic growth. CgAP1 also acted as a positive regulator of several ROS-related genes (i.e., Glr1, Hyr1, and Cyt1) involved in the antioxidative response. These results highlight the key regulatory role of CgAP1 transcription factor in oxidative stress response and provide insights into the function of ROS detoxification in virulence of C. gloeosporioides.