The transcription factor FgCrz1A is essential for fungal development, virulence, deoxynivalenol biosynthesis and stress responses in Fusarium graminearum.


Department of Plant Pathology, College of Plant Protection, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei, 230036, China. [Email]


The zinc finger transcription factor Crz1 is an important downstream regulator of calcium-dependent signal transduction pathways in many organisms. The function of Crz1 in the wheat-head blight pathogen Fusarium graminearum remains unclear. In this study, we identified and functionally characterised FgCrz1A, a potential ortholog of yeast Crz1. The deletion mutant ΔFgCrz1A exhibited slower hyphal growth on basic medium, and conidia formation and sexual reproduction were completely blocked. ΔFgCrz1A also displayed increased sensitivity to metal cations Ca2+, Mg2+, Mn2+ and Li+, but decreased sensitivity to Zn2+. Unexpectedly, the deletion mutant was more resistant to osmotic stress and cell wall-damaging agents than the wild-type fungus. Pathogenicity assays showed that virulence of the mutant was dramatically decreased on flowering wheat heads and corn silks, consistent with the observed reduction in deoxynivalenol production. Moreover, GFP-fused FgCrz1A was mainly localised in the nucleus, and was required for transcriptional induction of abaA and wetA that are involved in conidiogenesis, as well as genes of the MAT locus during sexual reproduction, and TRI genes responsible for deoxynivalenol biosynthesis. Taken together, the results indicate that FgCrz1A plays critical roles not only in regulating fungal development, secondary metabolism and virulence in F. graminearum, but also in multiple stress responses.


Deoxynivalenol,FgCrz1A,Fungal growth,Fusarium graminearum,Stress responses,Virulence,

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