Volatile organic compounds released by the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana.
The composition of volatile organic compounds (VOC) released by the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana (Hyphomycete: Deuteromycotina) utilizing two different carbon sources was investigated. Analyses were performed by solid-phase microextraction (SPME) coupled to capillary gas chromatography (CGC) and CGC-mass spectrometry (MS). Major components in glucose-grown cultures were diisopropyl naphthalenes, ethanol, and sesquiterpenes. Alkane-grown fungal VOC switched to a fingerprint with prevalence of n-decane. This is the first report on the volatiles released by entomopathogenic fungi. (+info)
A toll receptor and a cytokine, Toll5A and Spz1C, are involved in toll antifungal immune signaling in the mosquito Aedes aegypti.
The fungal-specific immune response in the mosquito Aedes aegypti involves the Toll immune pathway transduced through REL1, a homologue of the NF-kappaB transcription factor Drosophila Dorsal. The Toll receptor and its ligand, Spatzle (Spz), link extracellular immune signals to the Toll intracellular transduction pathway. Five homologues to the Drosophila Toll (Toll1) receptor (Toll1A, Toll1B, Toll5A, Toll5B, and Toll4) and three homologues to the Drosophila cytokine Spatzle (Spz1A, 1B, and 1C) were identified from genomic and cDNA sequence data bases. Toll1A, Toll5A, Toll5B, and Spz1A were specifically induced in the mosquito fat body following fungal challenge. This transcriptional up-regulation was mediated by REL1. Spz1C was constitutively expressed in the mosquito fat body, whereas Spz1B and Toll4 were primarily expressed in ovarian tissues of female mosquitoes. The transcripts of Toll1B were only detected in early stages of mosquito embryos. RNA interference knock down of Toll5A and Spz1C resulted in two phenotypes of Aedes Toll/REL1 pathway deficiency: decreased induction of Aedes Serpin-27A following fungal challenge and increased susceptibility to the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. These data suggest that Toll5A and Spz1C function as cytokine receptor systems specific to the Toll receptor-mediated immune response following fungal challenge in the mosquito fat body. (+info)
Increased insect virulence in Beauveria bassiana strains overexpressing an engineered chitinase.
Entomopathogenic fungi are currently being used for the control of several insect pests as alternatives or supplements to chemical insecticides. Improvements in virulence and speed of kill can be achieved by understanding the mechanisms of fungal pathogenesis and genetically modifying targeted genes, thus improving the commercial efficacy of these biocontrol agents. Entomopathogenic fungi, such as Beauveria bassiana, penetrate the insect cuticle utilizing a plethora of hydrolytic enzymes, including chitinases, which are important virulence factors. Two chitinases (Bbchit1 and Bbchit2) have previously been characterized in B. bassiana, neither of which possesses chitin-binding domains. Here we report the construction and characterization of several B. bassiana hybrid chitinases where the chitinase Bbchit1 was fused to chitin-binding domains derived from plant, bacterial, or insect sources. A hybrid chitinase containing the chitin-binding domain (BmChBD) from the silkworm Bombyx mori chitinase fused to Bbchit1 showed the greatest ability to bind to chitin compared to other hybrid chitinases. This hybrid chitinase gene (Bbchit1-BmChBD) was then placed under the control of a fungal constitutive promoter (gpd-Bbchit1-BmChBD) and transformed into B. bassiana. Insect bioassays showed a 23% reduction in time to death in the transformant compared to the wild-type fungus. This transformant also showed greater virulence than another construct (gpd-Bbchit1) with the same constitutive promoter but lacking the chitin-binding domain. We utilized a strategy where genetic components of the host insect can be incorporated into the fungal pathogen in order to increase host cuticle penetration ability. (+info)
Clues on the role of Beauveria bassiana catalases in alkane degradation events.
Entomopathogenic fungi adapt to growth in a culture medium containing an insect-like hydrocarbon as the sole carbon source inducing the beta-oxidation pathway during the alkane degradation. The effect of two carbon sources on the catalase activity was studied in the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana. Catalase activity was detected both in the peroxisomal and cytosolic fraction. A significant increment in the specific activity of the peroxisomal fraction (12.6-fold) was observed when glucose was replaced by an insect-like hydrocarbon, whereas the specific activity in the cytosol diminished more than 1.2-fold in the same culture condition. After purification to homogeneity by gel filtration and strong anion exchange chromatography, an apparent molecular mass of 54.7 and 84.0 kDa per subunit were determined respectively for the peroxisomal and cytosolic catalase. The enzymes showed different biochemical and kinetic characteristics, but both were inhibited by 3-amino-1,2,4 triazole. Peroxisomal catalase was sensitive to pH, heat and high concentration of the hydrogen peroxide substrate. Inversely the cytosolic isoform exhibited a broad range of optimal pH (6.0-10.0), high thermostability (<55 C) and remained fully active at least up to 70 mM hydrogen peroxide. Measurement of catalase activity is a new approach for evaluating fungal ability to degrade hydrocarbons. (+info)
Dual detection of fungal infections in Drosophila via recognition of glucans and sensing of virulence factors.
The Drosophila immune system discriminates between various types of infections and activates appropriate signal transduction pathways to combat the invading microorganisms. The Toll pathway is required for the host response against fungal and most Gram-positive bacterial infections. The sensing of Gram-positive bacteria is mediated by the pattern recognition receptors PGRP-SA and GNBP1 that cooperate to detect the presence of infections in the host. Here, we report that GNBP3 is a pattern recognition receptor that is required for the detection of fungal cell wall components. Strikingly, we find that there is a second, parallel pathway acting jointly with GNBP3. The Drosophila Persephone protease activates the Toll pathway when proteolytically matured by the secreted fungal virulence factor PR1. Thus, the detection of fungal infections in Drosophila relies both on the recognition of invariant microbial patterns and on monitoring the effects of virulence factors on the host. (+info)
Inbreeding and extreme outbreeding cause sex differences in immune defence and life history traits in Epirrita autumnata.
Empirical studies in vertebrates support the hypothesis that inbreeding reduces resistance against parasites and pathogens. However, studies in insects have not found any evidence that inbreeding compromises immune defence. Here we tested whether one generation of brother-sister mating or extreme outbreeding (mating between two populations) have an effect on innate immunity and life history traits in the autumnal moth, Epirrita autumnata. We show that the effect of inbreeding on immune response differed between the sexes: whereas in females, inbreeding significantly reduced encapsulation response against nylon monofilament ability, it did not have a significant effect on male immune response. There were also differences in the correlation of the immune response with other traits: in females increased immune response was positively correlated with large size, whereas in males immune response increased with a reduction in development time. Immune response differed significantly among families in males but not in females, both for the inbreeding and extreme outbreeding experiments. In conjunction with the observed immune responses to inbreeding, these data suggest that in males genetic variation for immune response is largely additive or non-directional with respect to dominance, whereas in females variation is much reduced and consists of directional dominance variance. Further, we show that encapsulation response against nylon monofilament is associated with the resistance against real pathogens suggesting that this widely used method to measure the strength of immune defence in insects is also a biologically relevant method. (+info)
Drosophila eiger mutants are sensitive to extracellular pathogens.
We showed previously that eiger, the Drosophila tumor necrosis factor homolog, contributes to the pathology induced by infection with Salmonella typhimurium. We were curious whether eiger is always detrimental in the context of infection or if it plays a role in fighting some types of microbes. We challenged wild-type and eiger mutant flies with a collection of facultative intracellular and extracellular pathogens, including a fungus and Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The response of eiger mutants divided these microbes into two groups: eiger mutants are immunocompromised with respect to extracellular pathogens but show no change or reduced sensitivity to facultative intracellular pathogens. Hence, eiger helps fight infections but also can cause pathology. We propose that eiger activates the cellular immune response of the fly to aid clearance of extracellular pathogens. Intracellular pathogens, which can already defeat professional phagocytes, are unaffected by eiger. (+info)
Cultivation-independent analysis of fungal genotypes in soil by using simple sequence repeat markers.
Cultivation-independent analyses of fungi are used for community profiling as well as identification of specific strains in environmental samples. The objective of the present study was to adapt genotyping based on simple sequence repeat (SSR) marker detection for use in cultivation-independent monitoring of fungal species or strains in bulk soil DNA. As a model system, a fungal biocontrol agent (BCA) based on Beauveria brongniartii, for which six SSR markers have been developed, was used. Species specificity of SSR detection was verified with 15 fungal species. Real-time PCR was used to adjust for different detection sensitivities of the six SSR markers as well as for different template quantities. The limit for reliable detection per PCR assay was below 2 pg target DNA, corresponding to an estimated 45 genome copies of B. brongniartii. The cultivation-independent approach was compared to cultivation-dependent SSR analysis with soil samples from a B. brongniartii BCA-treated field plot. Results of the cultivation-independent method were consistent with cultivation-dependent genotyping and allowed for unambiguous identification and differentiation of the applied as well as indigenous strains in the samples. Due to the larger quantities of soil used for cultivation-dependent analysis, its sensitivity was higher, but cultivation-independent SSR genotyping was much faster. Therefore, cultivation-independent monitoring of B. brongniartii based on multiple SSR markers represents a rapid and strain-specific approach. This strategy may also be applicable to other fungal species or strains for which SSR markers have been developed. (+info)