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The Fusarium Circinatum Gene Fcrho1, Encoding a Putative Rho1 GTPase, Is Involved in Vegetative Growth but Dispensable for Pathogenic Development

1
Sustainable Forest Management Research Institute, University of Valladolid—INIA, Avenida de Madrid 44, 34004 Palencia, Spain
2
Department of Vegetal Production and Forest Resources, University of Valladolid, Avenida de Madrid 44, 34004 Palencia, Spain
3
Instituto de Hortofruticultura Subtropical y Mediterránea “La Mayora”—Universidad de Málaga—Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IHSM-UMA-CSIC), Estación Experimental “La Mayora”, Algarrobo-Costa, 29750 Málaga, Spain
4
Department of Agroforestry Sciences, University of Valladolid, Avenida de Madrid 44, 34004 Palencia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2018, 9(11), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9110684
Received: 5 October 2018 / Revised: 26 October 2018 / Accepted: 29 October 2018 / Published: 31 October 2018
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Abstract

Fusarium circinatum is the causal agent of pine pitch canker (PPC), one of the most devastating forest diseases worldwide. This fungus causes severe damping-off in pine seedlings and growth reduction, wilting and the development of cankers in pine forests and plantations. A draft of the complete genome sequence of this phytopathogen was recently made available. This information was used to annotate in silico the gene Fcrho1 as a putative homolog of Rho1 GTPase genes. In this study, we generated Fcrho1 deletion mutants in two F. circinatum wildtype strains isolated from damaged trees in northern Spain. For that, we used a modified version of the OSCAR methodology, an approach not previously used in F. circinatum that allows the generation of deletion constructs in a single cloning step. The conidiation and spore germination of the resulting deletion mutants were not affected, neither the hyphal morphology. However, the mutant strains showed significantly reduced growth in vitro and more foamy macroscopic hyphal morphology than their corresponding ectopic and wildtype strains. Finally, an in vivo virulence assay showed that the reduced in vitro growth rate characteristic to the deletion mutants does not impact their pathogenicity. View Full-Text
Keywords: cell signalling; deletion mutant; in planta virulence; OSCAR protocol; Pinus radiata; pine pitch canker cell signalling; deletion mutant; in planta virulence; OSCAR protocol; Pinus radiata; pine pitch canker
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Muñoz-Adalia, E.J.; Cañizares, M.C.; Fernández, M.; Diez, J.J.; García-Pedrajas, M.D. The Fusarium Circinatum Gene Fcrho1, Encoding a Putative Rho1 GTPase, Is Involved in Vegetative Growth but Dispensable for Pathogenic Development. Forests 2018, 9, 684.

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