The transcriptional activator XlnR (Xlr1/Xyr1) is a major regulator in fungal xylan and cellulose degradation as well as in the utilization of d-xylose via the pentose catabolic pathway. XlnR homologs are commonly found in filamentous ascomycetes and often assumed to have the same function in different fungi. However, a comparison of the saprobe Aspergillus niger and the plant pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae showed different phenotypes for deletion strains of XlnR. In this study wild type and xlnR/xlr1/xyr1 mutants of five fungi were compared: Fusarium graminearum, M. oryzae, Trichoderma reesei, A. niger and Aspergillus nidulans. Growth profiling on relevant substrates and a detailed analysis of the secretome as well as extracellular enzyme activities demonstrated a common role of this regulator in activating genes encoding the main xylanolytic enzymes. However, large differences were found in the set of genes that is controlled by XlnR in the different species, resulting in the production of different extracellular enzyme spectra by these fungi. This comparison emphasizes the functional diversity of a fine-tuned (hemi-)cellulolytic regulatory system in filamentous fungi, which might be related to the adaptation of fungi to their specific biotopes. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD001190.
Keywords: Aspergillus; Fusarium graminearum; Magnaporthe oryzae; Trichoderma reesei; XlnR; Xylan degradation.
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