Transcriptome Analysis of Fusarium–Tomato Interaction Based on an Updated Genome Annotation of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici Identifies Novel Effector Candidates That Suppress or Induce Cell Death in Nicotiana benthamiana

Xizhe Sun, Xiangling Fang, Dongmei Wang, David A. Jones*, Lisong Ma

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (Fol) causes vascular wilt disease in tomato. Upon colonization of the host, Fol secretes many small effector proteins into the xylem sap to facilitate infection. Besides known SIX (secreted in xylem) proteins, the identity of additional effectors that contribute to Fol pathogenicity remains largely unexplored. We performed a deep RNA-sequencing analysis of Fol race 2-infected tomato, used the sequence data to annotate a published genome assembly generated via PacBio SMRT sequencing of the Fol race 2 reference strain Fol4287, and ana-lysed the resulting transcriptome to identify Fol effector candidates among the newly annotated genes. We examined the Fol-infection expression profiles of all 13 SIX genes present in Fol race 2 and identified 27 new candidate effector genes that were likewise significantly upregulated upon Fol infection. Using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation, we tested the ability of 22 of the new candidate effector genes to suppress or induce cell death in leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana. One effector candidate designated Fol-EC19, encoding a secreted guanyl-specific ribonuclease, was found to trigger cell death and two effector candidates designated Fol-EC14 and Fol-EC20, encoding a glucanase and a secreted trypsin, respectively, were identified that can suppress Bax-mediated cell death. Remarkably, Fol-EC14 and Fol-EC20 were also found to suppress I-2/Avr2-and I/Avr1-mediated cell death. Using the yeast secretion trap screening system, we showed that these three biologically-active effector candidates each contain a functional signal peptide for protein secretion. Our findings provide a basis for further understanding the virulence functions of Fol effectors.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number672
    JournalJournal of Fungi
    Volume8
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

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