Molecular Plant Pathology (2018) 19, 1639-1651

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Yuxing Wu, Liangsheng Xu, Zhiyuan Yin, Qingqing Dai, Xiaoning Gao, Hao Feng, Ralf T. Voegele and Lili Huang (2018)
Two members of the velvet family, VmVeA and VmVelB, affect conidiation, virulence and pectinase expression in Valsa mali
Molecular Plant Pathology 19 (7), 1639-1651
Abstract: Velvet protein family members are important fungal-specific regulators which are involved in conidial development, secondary metabolism and virulence. To gain a broader insight into the physiological functions of the velvet protein family of Valsa mali, which causes a highly destructive canker disease on apple, we conducted a functional analysis of two velvet protein family members (VmVeA and VmVelB) via a gene replacement strategy. Deletion mutants of VmVeA and VmVelB showed increased melanin production, conidiation and sensitivity to abiotic stresses, but exhibited reduced virulence on detached apple leaves and twigs. Further studies demonstrated that the regulation of conidiation by VmVeA and VmVelB was positively correlated with the melanin synthesis transcription factor VmCmr1. More importantly, transcript levels of pectinase genes were shown to be decreased in deletion mutants compared with those of the wild-type during infection. However, the expression of other cell wall-degrading enzyme genes, including cellulase, hemi-cellulase and ligninase genes, was not affected in the deletion mutants. Furthermore, the determination of pectinase activity and immunogold labelling of pectin demonstrated that the capacity for pectin degradation was attenuated as a result of deletions of VmVeA and VmVelB. Finally, the interaction of VmVeA with VmVelB was identified through co-immunoprecipitation assays. VmVeA and VmVelB play critical roles in conidiation and virulence, probably via the regulation of the melanin synthesis transcription factor VmCmr1 and their effect on pectinase gene expression in V. mali, respectively.
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Database assignments for author(s): Ralf T. Voegele

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
molecular biology - genes


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Cytospora mali