Epigenetic modifications contributing to fungal pathogenesis and short-term adaptation

D.E. Cook III, M.F. Seidl, L. Faino, X. Shi, B.P.H.J. Thomma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract

Abstract

P147 - A current paradigm for microbial pathogenesis is the use of effector proteins to establish and maintain host interactions. Effectors can be broadly defined as secreted microbial proteins that facilitate disease, and their importance is implied by their independent evolution in microbes from diverse kingdoms of life. Despite their necessity, many questions remain regarding effector regulation and organization. Rapid in planta induction is a hallmark of effector expression, but little is known about their global regulation. Effectors are also not randomly distributed in pathogen genomes, but how this physical organization relates to their regulation and evolution remains underexplored. Epigenetic modifications, defined as heritable DNA and histone alterations that impact gene expression without changing the underlying DNA sequence, provide a framework to explore these questions. Indeed, recent reports in Fusarium and Leptospaeria provide evidence that distinct histone modifications help regulate certain secondary-metabolites and effector expression. To address the role epigen etic modifications have on effector biology, we are using the soil-borne fungal pathogen Verticillium dahliae, which is a well-suited model because a number of effectors have been identified and validated, we recently completed a gapless genome assembly, and we have identified intra-species genome re-arrangements associated with effector evolution. We are currently pursuing a reverse genetics approach to determine the contribution of epigenetic modifications on effector regulation. We are also conducting a series of experimental evolution trials to address the dynamics of these modifications and their role in genome organization. Results from current experiments will be presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts XVI International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
Pages61
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventXVI International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, Rhodes, Greece -
Duration: 6 Jul 201410 Jul 2014

Conference

ConferenceXVI International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, Rhodes, Greece
Period6/07/1410/07/14

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  • Cite this

    Cook III, D. E., Seidl, M. F., Faino, L., Shi, X., & Thomma, B. P. H. J. (2014). Epigenetic modifications contributing to fungal pathogenesis and short-term adaptation. In Book of Abstracts XVI International Congress on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions (pp. 61)