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. 2012 Oct;49(10):802-13.
doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2012.07.006. Epub 2012 Aug 10.

Roles for SKN7 Response Regulator in Stress Resistance, Conidiation and Virulence in the Citrus Pathogen Alternaria Alternata

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Roles for SKN7 Response Regulator in Stress Resistance, Conidiation and Virulence in the Citrus Pathogen Alternaria Alternata

Li-Hung Chen et al. Fungal Genet Biol. .

Abstract

"Two-component" histidine kinase (HSK1) is the primary regulator of resistance to sugar osmotic stress and sensitivity to dicarboximide or phenylpyrrole fungicides in the citrus fungal pathogen Alternaria alternata. On the other hand, the mitogen-activated protein kinase HOG1 confers resistance solely to salts and oxidative stress. We report here independent and shared functions of the SKN7-mediated signaling pathway with HSK1 and HOG1. SKN7, a putative transcription downstream regulator of HSK1, is primarily required for cellular resistance to oxidative and sugar-induced osmotic stress. SKN7, perhaps acting in parallel with HOG1, is required for resistance to H(2)O(2), tert-butyl hydroperoxide, and cumyl peroxide, but not to the superoxide-generating compounds - menadione, potassium superoxide, and diamide. Because of phenotypic commonalities, SKN7 is likely involved in resistance to sugar-induced osmotic stress via the HSK1 signaling pathway. However, mutants lacking SKN7 displayed wild-type sensitivity to NaCl and KCl salts. SKN7 is constitutively localized in the nucleus regardless of H(2)O(2) treatment. When compared to the wild type, skn7 mutants exhibited lower catalase, peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase activities and induced significantly fewer necrotic lesions on the susceptible citrus cultivar. The skn7 mutant exhibited fungicide resistance at levels between the hsk1 and the hog1 mutant strains. Skn7/hog1 double mutants exhibited fungicide resistance, similar to the strain with a single AaHSK1 gene mutation. Moreover, the A. alternata SKN7 plays a role in conidia formation. Conidia produced by the skn7 mutant are smaller and have fewer transverse septae than those produced by wild type. All altered phenotypes in the mutant were restored by introducing and expressing a wild-type copy of SKN7 under control of the endogenous promoter.

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