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Genes 2018, 9(3), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9030162

VdPLP, A Patatin-Like Phospholipase in Verticillium dahliae, Is Involved in Cell Wall Integrity and Required for Pathogenicity

1,2,†
,
1,3,†
,
1
,
3
and
1,*
1
Biotechnology Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
2
Zhengzhou Fruit Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhengzhou 450009, China
3
School of Life Sciences, Anhui Agricultural University, Hefei 230036, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2018 / Revised: 4 March 2018 / Accepted: 7 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Microbial Genetics and Genomics)
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Abstract

The soil-borne ascomycete fungus Verticillium dahliae causes vascular wilt disease and can seriously diminish the yield and quality of important crops. Functional analysis of growth- and pathogenicity-related genes is essential for revealing the pathogenic molecular mechanism of V. dahliae. Phospholipase is an important virulence factor in fungi that hydrolyzes phospholipids into fatty acid and other lipophilic substances and is involved in hyphal development. Thus far, only a few V. dahliae phospholipases have been identified, and their involvement in V. dahliae development and pathogenicity remains unknown. In this study, the function of the patatin-like phospholipase gene in V. dahliae (VdPLP, VDAG_00942) is characterized by generating gene knockout and complementary mutants. Vegetative growth and conidiation of VdPLP deletion mutants (ΔVdPLP) were significantly reduced compared with wild type and complementary strains, but more microsclerotia formed. The ΔVdPLP mutants were very sensitive to the cell-wall-perturbing agents: calcofluor white (CFW) and Congo red (CR). The transcriptional level of genes related to the cell wall integrity (CWI) pathway and chitin synthesis were downregulated, suggesting that VdPLP has a pivotal role in the CWI pathway and chitin synthesis in V. dahliae. ΔVdPLP strains were distinctly impaired in in their virulence and ability to colonize Nicotiana benthamiana roots. Our results demonstrate that VdPLP regulates hyphal growth and conidial production and is involved in stabilizing the cell wall, thus mediating the pathogenicity of V. dahliae. View Full-Text
Keywords: Verticillium dahliae; patatin-like phospholipases; cell wall integrity; pathogenicity Verticillium dahliae; patatin-like phospholipases; cell wall integrity; pathogenicity
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Qi, X.; Li, X.; Guo, H.; Guo, N.; Cheng, H. VdPLP, A Patatin-Like Phospholipase in Verticillium dahliae, Is Involved in Cell Wall Integrity and Required for Pathogenicity. Genes 2018, 9, 162.

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