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Degradation of salicylic acid by Fusarium graminearum
- Rocheleau, Hélène, Al-harthi, Reem, Ouellet, Thérèse
- Fungal biology 2019 v.123 no.1 pp. 77-86
- Fusarium graminearum, Fusarium head blight, carbon, catechol, decarboxylation, enzymes, fungi, genes, liquids, salicylic acid, virulence, wheat
- Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a major cereal crop disease, caused most frequently by the fungus Fusarium graminearum. We have previously demonstrated that F. graminearum can utilize SA as sole source of carbon to grow. In this current study, we further characterized selected four fungal SA-responsive genes that are predicted to encode salicylic acid (SA)-degrading enzymes and we used a gene replacement approach to characterize them further. These included two genes predicted to encode a salicylate 1-monooxygenase, FGSG_03657 and FGSG_09063, a catechol 1, 2-dioxygenase gene, FGSG_03667, and a 2, 3-dihydroxybenzoic acid decarboxylase gene, FGSG_09061. For each gene, three independent gene replacement strains were assayed for their ability to degrade salicylic acid in liquid culture. Salicylate 1-monooxygenase FGSG_03657 and catechol 1, 2-dioxygenase FGSG_03667 were shown to be essential for SA degradation, while a loss of 2, 3-dihydroxybenzoic acid decarboxylase FGSG_09061 caused only a partial reduction of SA degradation and a loss of salicylate 1-monooxygenase FGSG_09063 had no effect when compared to wild type culture. Salicylate 1-monooxygenase FGSG_03657 and catechol 1, 2-dioxygenase FGSG_03667 were identified as the first two key enzyme steps of SA degradation via catechol in the β-ketoadipate pathway. Expression profiles for all four genes were also determined in liquid culture and in planta. Salicylate 1-monooxygenase FGSG_03657 and catechol 1, 2-dioxygenase FGSG_03667 were co-expressed and their expression was substrate dependent in liquid culture; however their expression was uncoupled in planta. Disruption of the gene for catechol 1, 2-dioxygenase FGSG_03667 was shown to have no effect on fungal virulence on wheat. Our results with 2, 3-dihydroxybenzoic acid decarboxylase FGSG_09061 raise the possibility of an alternate non-oxidative decarboxylation pathway for the conversion of SA to catechol via 2, 3-dihydrozybenzoic acid and for a connection between the oxidative and the non-oxidative decarboxylation pathways for SA conversion.