Fusarium oxysporum gas1 encodes a putative beta-1,3-glucanosyltransferase required for virulence on tomato plants

Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2005 Nov;18(11):1140-7. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-18-1140.


Glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored (beta)-1,3-glucanosyltransferases play active roles in fungal cell wall biosynthesis and morphogenesis and have been implicated in virulence on mammals. The role of beta-1,3-glucanosyltransferases in pathogenesis to plants has not been explored so far. Here, we report the cloning and mutational analysis of the gas1 gene encoding a putative beta-1,3-glucanosyltransferase from the vascular wilt fungus Fusarium oxysporum. In contrast to Candida albicans, expression of gas1 in F. oxysporum was independent of ambient pH and of the pH response transcription factor PacC. Gene knockout mutants lacking a functional gas1 allele grew in a way similar to the wildtype strain in submerged culture but exhibited restricted colony growth on solid substrates. The restricted growth phenotype was relieved by the osmotic stabilizer sorbitol, indicating that it may be related to structural alterations in the cell wall. Consistent with this hypothesis, deltagas1 mutants exhibited enhanced resistance to cell wall-degrading enzymes and increased transcript levels of chsV and rho1, encoding a class V chitin synthase and a small monomeric G protein, respectively. The deltagas1 mutants showed dramatically reduced virulence on tomato, both in a root infection assay and in a fruit tissue-invasion model, thus providing the first evidence for an essential role of fungal beta-1,3-glucanosyltransferases during plant infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Wall / physiology
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Fusarium / enzymology*
  • Fusarium / genetics
  • Fusarium / pathogenicity
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Gene Targeting
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Glucan Endo-1,3-beta-D-Glucosidase / genetics*
  • Glucan Endo-1,3-beta-D-Glucosidase / metabolism
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Hyphae / growth & development
  • Lycopersicon esculentum / microbiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Virulence


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Glucan Endo-1,3-beta-D-Glucosidase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AY884608