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Aguirre, J; Horbach, R; Graf, A; Weihmann, F; Antelo, L; Mathea, S; Liermann, JC; Opatz, T; Thines, E; Deising, HB (2009)


PLANT CELL 21(10):3379-3396
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In filamentous fungi, Sfp-type 4'-phosphopantetheinyl transferases (PPTases) activate enzymes involved in primary (alpha-aminoadipate reductase [AAR]) and secondary (polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases) metabolism. We cloned the PPTase gene PPT1 of the maize anthracnose fungus Colletotrichum graminicola and generated PPTase-deficient mutants (Delta ppt1). Delta ppt1 strains were auxotrophic for Lys, unable to synthesize siderophores, hypersensitive to reactive oxygen species, and unable to synthesize polyketides (PKs). A differential analysis of secondary metabolites produced by wild-type and Delta ppt1 strains led to the identification of six novel PKs. Infection-related morphogenesis was affected in Delta ppt1 strains. Rarely formed appressoria of Delta ppt1 strains were nonmelanized and ruptured on intact plant. The hyphae of Delta ppt1 strains colonized wounded maize (Zea mays) leaves but failed to generate necrotic anthracnose disease symptoms and were defective in asexual sporulation. To analyze the pleiotropic pathogenicity phenotype, we generated AAR-deficient mutants (Delta aar1) and employed a melanin-deficient mutant (M1.502). Results indicated that PPT1 activates enzymes required at defined stages of infection. Melanization is required for cell wall rigidity and appressorium function, and Lys supplied by the AAR1 pathway is essential for necrotrophic development. As PPTase-deficient mutants of Magnaporthe oryzea were also nonpathogenic, we conclude that PPTases represent a novel fungal pathogenicity factor.