Nuclear rDNA phylogeny in the fungal genus Verticillium and its relationship to insect and plant virulence, extracellular proteases and carbohydrases.
Phylogenetic relationships among 18 isolates in the genus Verticillium, representing 13 species of diverse econutritional groups (pathogens of insects, plants, mushrooms, nematodes and spiders, and saprobes), were examined by using sequences from the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and small nuclear (NS) rRNA regions. The isolates were also assessed for their abilities to infect insect larvae (Galleria mellonella) and to cause necrosis in alfalfa (Medicago sativa), and for their proteolytic, chitinolytic and pectinolytic activities. The phylogenetic data suggested that Verticillium is polyphyletic in origin and is therefore a form genus. However, the phylogenetic tree supported the plant pathogens (V. dahliae, V. albo-atrum and V. nigrescens) as a clade. The alfalfa isolate of V. albo-atrum (isolate 595) was an interesting outlier to the main body of plant pathogens as it clustered with the insect pathogen V. indicum. Strains of V. lecanii and V. indicum were able to infect insects and are present in divergent groups in the consensus tree, suggesting that the ability to infect insects may have evolved independently many times. Similarly, the nematophagous Verticillium species appear to have evolved independently along several different routes and one isolate, V. chlamydosporium, was able to infect insects. V. albo-atrum, V. nigrescens and V. dahliae all produced high levels of enzymes capable of degrading pectin, a major component of plant cell walls. The ability to excrete pectinase was a broad indicator of the ability to produce lesions on alfalfa. In the plant pathogens, the functions of a broad-spectrum protease were assumed by trypsins which degrade Bz-AA-AA-Arg-NA substrates (Bz, benzoyl; AA, various amino acids; NA, p-nitroanilide). The insect pathogens and mushroom pathogen (V. fungicola) were characterized by production of high levels of subtilisin-like proteases active against a chymotrypsin substrate (succinyl-Ala2-Pro-Phe-NA) and the inability to clear pectin. The insect and mushroom pathogens, and several nematode pathogens, were distinguishable from the plant pathogens in their ability to produce chitinases. (+info)
Expression pattern of genes encoding farnesyl diphosphate synthase and sesquiterpene cyclase in cotton suspension-cultured cells treated with fungal elicitors.
Cotton plants accumulate sesquiterpene aldehydes in pigment glands. The two enzymes farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FPS) and (+)-delta-cadinene synthase (CAD), a sesquiterpene cyclase, are involved in the biosynthesis of these secondary metabolites. A full-length cDNA (garfps) encoding FPS was isolated from Gossypium arboreum and identified by in vitro enzymatic assay of the garfps protein heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli. Treatment of G. arboreum suspension-cultured cells with an elicitor preparation obtained from the phytopathogenic fungus Verticillium dahliae dramatically induced transcription of both FPS and CAD, paralleling the accumulation of the sesquiterpene aldehydes in these cells. For G. australe, a wild species from Australia, the V. dahliae elicitor preparation also caused an induction of FPS but only a low rate of induction of CAD, apparently because of a constitutive expression of the sesquiterpene cyclase gene in suspension-cultured cells. Two transcripts and proteins of FPS were detected in the elicited G. australe cells; the smaller FPS seemed to be de novo synthesized after elicitation. Furthermore, G. australe-cultured cells accumulated the cadinene, instead of sesquiterpene aldehydes, indicating that the biosynthetic pathway leading to sesquiterpene aldehydes was absent or blocked after FPP cyclization. (+info)
Tomato Ve disease resistance genes encode cell surface-like receptors.
In tomato, Ve is implicated in race-specific resistance to infection by Verticillium species causing crop disease. Characterization of the Ve locus involved positional cloning and isolation of two closely linked inverted genes. Expression of individual Ve genes in susceptible potato plants conferred resistance to an aggressive race 1 isolate of Verticillium albo-atrum. The deduced primary structure of Ve1 and Ve2 included a hydrophobic N-terminal signal peptide, leucine-rich repeats containing 28 or 35 potential glycosylation sites, a hydrophobic membrane-spanning domain, and a C-terminal domain with the mammalian E/DXXXLphi or YXXphi endocytosis signals (phi is an amino acid with a hydrophobic side chain). A leucine zipper-like sequence occurs in the hydrophobic N-terminal signal peptide of Ve1 and a Pro-Glu-Ser-Thr (PEST)-like sequence resides in the C-terminal domain of Ve2. These structures suggest that the Ve genes encode a class of cell-surface glycoproteins with receptor-mediated endocytosis-like signals and leucine zipper or PEST sequences. (+info)
Bulk and rhizosphere soil bacterial communities studied by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis: plant-dependent enrichment and seasonal shifts revealed.
The bacterial rhizosphere communities of three host plants of the pathogenic fungus Verticillium dahliae, field-grown strawberry (Fragaria ananassa Duch.), oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.), and potato (Solanum tuberosum L.), were analyzed. We aimed to determine the degree to which the rhizosphere effect is plant dependent and whether this effect would be increased by growing the same crops in two consecutive years. Rhizosphere or soil samples were taken five times over the vegetation periods. To allow a cultivation-independent analysis, total community DNA was extracted from the microbial pellet recovered from root or soil samples. 16S rDNA fragments amplified by PCR from soil or rhizosphere bacterium DNA were analyzed by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The DGGE fingerprints showed plant-dependent shifts in the relative abundance of bacterial populations in the rhizosphere which became more pronounced in the second year. DGGE patterns of oilseed rape and potato rhizosphere communities were more similar to each other than to the strawberry patterns. In both years seasonal shifts in the abundance and composition of the bacterial rhizosphere populations were observed. Independent of the plant species, the patterns of the first sampling times for both years were characterized by the absence of some of the bands which became dominant at the following sampling times. Bacillus megaterium and Arthrobacter sp. were found as predominant populations in bulk soils. Sequencing of dominant bands excised from the rhizosphere patterns revealed that 6 out of 10 bands resembled gram-positive bacteria. Nocardia populations were identified as strawberry-specific bands. (+info)
Elemental sulfur and thiol accumulation in tomato and defense against a fungal vascular pathogen.
The occurrence of fungicidal, elemental S is well documented in certain specialized prokaryotes, but has rarely been detected in eukaryotes. Elemental S was first identified in this laboratory as a novel phytoalexin in the xylem of resistant genotypes of Theobroma cacao, after infection by the vascular, fungal pathogen Verticillium dahliae. In the current work, this phenomenon is demonstrated in a resistant line of tomato, Lycopersicon esculentum, in response to V. dahliae. A novel gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy method using isotope dilution analysis with 34S internal standard was developed to identify unambiguously and quantify 32S in samples of excised xylem. Accumulation of S in vascular tissue was more rapid and much greater in the disease-resistant than in the disease-susceptible line. Levels of S detected in the resistant variety (approximately 10 microg g-1 fresh weight excised xylem) were fungitoxic to V. dahliae (spore germination was inhibited >90% at approximately 3 microg mL-1). Scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive x-ray microanalysis confirmed accumulation of S in vascular but not in pith cells and in greater amounts and frequency in the Verticillium spp.-resistant genotype. More intensive localizations of S were occasionally detected in xylem parenchyma cells, vessel walls, vascular gels, and tyloses, structures in potential contact with and linked with defense to V. dahliae. Transient increases in concentrations of sulfate, glutathione, and Cys of vascular tissues from resistant but not susceptible lines after infection may indicate a perturbation of S metabolism induced by elemental S formation; this is discussed in terms of possible S biogenesis. (+info)
Quantification in soil and the rhizosphere of the nematophagous fungus Verticillium chlamydosporium by competitive PCR and comparison with selective plating.
A competitive PCR (cPCR) assay was developed to quantify the nematophagous fungus Verticillium chlamydosporium in soil. A gamma-irradiated soil was seeded with different numbers of chlamydospores from V. chlamydosporium isolate 10, and samples were obtained at time intervals of up to 8 weeks. Samples were analyzed by cPCR and by plating onto a semiselective medium. The results suggested that saprophytic V. chlamydosporium growth did occur in soil and that the two methods detected different phases of growth. The first stage of growth, DNA replication, was demonstrated by the rapid increase in cPCR estimates, and the presumed carrying capacity (PCC) of the soil was reached after only 1 week of incubation. The second stage, an increase in fungal propagules presumably due to cell division, sporulation, and hyphal fragmentation, was indicated by a less rapid increase in CFU, and 3 weeks was required to reach the PCC. Experiments with field soil revealed that saprophytic fungal growth was limited, presumably due to competition from the indigenous soil microflora, and that the PCR results were less variable than the equivalent plate count results. In addition, the limit of detection of V. chlamydosporium in field soil was lower than that in gamma-irradiated soil, suggesting that there was a background population of the fungus in the field, although the level was below the limit of detection. Tomatoes were infected with the root knot nematode (RKN) or the potato cyst nematode (PCN) along with a PCN-derived isolate of the fungus (V. chlamydosporium isolate Jersey). Increases in fungal growth were observed in the rhizosphere of PCN-infested plants but not in the rhizosphere of RKN-infested plants after 14 weeks using cPCR. In this paper we describe for the first time PCR-based quantification of a fungal biological control agent for nematodes in soil and the rhizosphere, and we provide evidence for nematode host specificity that is highly relevant to the biological control efficacy of this fungus. (+info)
Two novel antifungal peptides distinct with a five-disulfide motif from the bark of Eucommia ulmoides Oliv.
Two antifungal peptides, named EAFP1 and EAFP2, have been purified from the bark of Eucommia ulmoides Oliv. Each of the sequences consists of 41 residues with a N-terminal blockage by pyroglutamic acid determined by automated Edman degradation in combination with the tandem mass spectroscopy and the C-terminal ladder sequencing analysis. The primary structurs all contain 10 cysteines, which are cross-linked to form five disulfide bridges with a pairing pattern (C1-C5, C2-C9, C3-C6, C4-C7, C8-C10). This is the first finding of a plant antifungal peptide with a five-disulfide motif. EAFP1 and EAFP2 show characteristics of hevein domain and exhibit chitin-binding properties similar to the previously identified hevein-like peptides. They exhibit relatively broad spectra of antifungal activities against eight pathogenic fungi from cotton, wheat, potato, tomato and tobacco. The inhibition activity of EAFP1 and EAFP2 can be effective on both chitin-containing and chitin-free fungi. The values of IC(50) range from 35 to 155 microg/ml for EAFP1 and 18 to 109 microg/ml for EAFP2. Their antifungal effects are strongly antagonized by calcium ions. (+info)
Plant-dependent genotypic and phenotypic diversity of antagonistic rhizobacteria isolated from different Verticillium host plants.
To study the effect of plant species on the abundance and diversity of bacterial antagonists, the abundance, the phenotypic diversity, and the genotypic diversity of rhizobacteria isolated from potato, oilseed rape, and strawberry and from bulk soil which showed antagonistic activity towards the soilborne pathogen Verticillium dahliae Kleb. were analyzed. Rhizosphere and soil samples were taken five times over two growing seasons in 1998 and 1999 from a randomized field trial. Bacterial isolates were obtained after plating on R2A (Difco, Detroit, Mich.) or enrichment in microtiter plates containing high-molecular-weight substrates followed by plating on R2A. A total of 5,854 bacteria isolated from the rhizosphere of strawberry, potato, or oilseed rape or bulk soil from fallow were screened by dual testing for in vitro antagonism towards VERTICILLIUM: The proportion of isolates with antagonistic activity was highest for strawberry rhizosphere (9.5%), followed by oilseed rape (6.3%), potato (3.7%), and soil (3.3%). The 331 Verticillium antagonists were identified by their fatty acid methyl ester profiles. They were characterized by testing their in vitro antagonism against other pathogenic fungi; their glucanolytic, chitinolytic, and proteolytic activities; and their BOX-PCR fingerprints. The abundance and composition of Verticillium antagonists was plant species dependent. A rather high proportion of antagonists from the strawberry rhizosphere was identified as Pseudomonas putida B (69%), while antagonists belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae (Serratia spp., Pantoea agglomerans) were mainly isolated from the rhizosphere of oilseed rape. For P. putida A and B plant-specific genotypes were observed, suggesting that these bacteria were specifically enriched in each rhizosphere. (+info)