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G3 (Bethesda) DOI:10.1534/g3.117.300318

: An Intricate Dance of Anther Smut and Its Host.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsSan Toh, S, Chen, Z, Rouchka, EC, Schultz, DJ, Cuomo, CA, Perlin, MH
JournalG3 (Bethesda)
Date Published2018 02 02
KeywordsBasidiomycota, Cluster Analysis, Gene Expression Profiling, Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal, Gene Expression Regulation, Plant, Gene Ontology, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Plant Diseases, Pollen, Silene

The successful interaction between pathogen/parasite and host requires a delicate balance between fitness of the former and survival of the latter. To optimize fitness a parasite/pathogen must effectively create an environment conducive to reproductive success, while simultaneously avoiding or minimizing detrimental host defense response. The association between and its host serves as an excellent model to examine such interactions. This fungus is part of a species complex that infects species of the Caryophyllaceae, replacing pollen with the fungal spores. In the current study, transcriptome analyses of the fungus and its host were conducted during discrete stages of bud development so as to identify changes in fungal gene expression that lead to spore development and to identify changes associated with infection in the host plant. In contrast to early biotrophic phase stages of infection for the fungus, the latter stages involve tissue necrosis and in the case of infected female flowers, further changes in the developmental program in which the ovary aborts and a pseudoanther is produced. Transcriptome analysis via Illumina RNA sequencing revealed enrichment of fungal genes encoding small secreted proteins, with hallmarks of effectors and genes found to be relatively unique to the species complex. Host gene expression analyses also identified interesting sets of genes up-regulated, including those involving stress response, host defense response, and several agamous-like MADS-box genes (AGL61 and AGL80), predicted to interact and be involved in male gametophyte development.


Alternate JournalG3 (Bethesda)
PubMed ID29196496
PubMed Central IDPMC5919739
Grant ListP20 GM103436 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States