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Investigation of the indigenous fungal community populating barley grains: Secretomes and xylanolytic potential

Sultan, Abida, Frisvad, Jens C., Andersen, Birgit, Svensson, Birte, Finnie, Christine
Journal of proteomics 2017 v.169 pp. 153-164
Aspergillus niger, Fusarium poae, antifungal agents, arabinoxylan, barley, barley flour, carbon, cell walls, cultivars, enzyme activity, fungal communities, fungi, pathogenicity, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, proteins, proteomics, symbionts, wheat, xylanases
The indigenous fungal species populating cereal grains produce numerous plant cell wall-degrading enzymes including xylanases, which could play important role in plant-pathogen interactions and in adaptation of the fungi to varying carbon sources. To gain more insight into the grain surface-associated enzyme activity, members of the populating fungal community were isolated, and their secretomes and xylanolytic activities assessed. Twenty-seven different fungal species were isolated from grains of six barley cultivars over different harvest years and growing sites. The isolated fungi were grown on medium containing barley flour or wheat arabinoxylan as sole carbon source. Their secretomes and xylanase activities were analyzed using SDS-PAGE and enzyme assays and were found to vary according to species and carbon source. Secretomes were dominated by cell wall degrading enzymes with xylanases and xylanolytic enzymes being the most abundant. A 2-DE-based secretome analysis of Aspergillus niger and the less-studied pathogenic fungus Fusarium poae grown on barley flour and wheat arabinoxylan resulted in identification of 82 A. niger and 31 F. poae proteins many of which were hydrolytic enzymes, including xylanases.The microorganisms that inhabit the surface of cereal grains are specialized in production of enzymes such as xylanases, which depolymerize plant cell walls. Integration of gel-based proteomics approach with activity assays is a powerful tool for analysis and characterization of fungal secretomes and xylanolytic activities which can lead to identification of new enzymes with interesting properties, as well as provide insight into plant-fungal interactions, fungal pathogenicity and adaptation. Understanding the fungal response to host niche is of importance to uncover novel targets for potential symbionts, anti-fungal agents and biotechnical applications.