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Development of an Expression Vector to Overexpress or Downregulate Genes in Curvularia protuberata

The Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, University of West Alabama, Livingston, AL 35470, USA
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J. Fungi 2018, 4(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof4020054
Received: 12 April 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 3 May 2018 / Published: 5 May 2018
Curvularia protuberata, an endophytic fungus in the Ascomycota, provides plants with thermotolerance only when it carries a mycovirus known as Curvularia thermotolerance virus (CThTV), and forms a three-way symbiotic relationship among these organisms. Under heat stress, several genes are expressed differently between virus-free C. protuberata (VF) and C. protuberata carrying CThTV (AN). We developed an expression vector, pM2Z-fun, carrying a zeocin resistance gene driven by the ToxA promoter, to study gene functions in C. protuberata to better understand this three-way symbiosis. Using this new 3.7-kb vector, five genes that are differentially expressed in C. protuberata—including genes involved in the trehalose, melanin, and catalase biosynthesis pathways—were successfully overexpressed or downregulated in VF or AN C. protuberata strains, respectively. The VF overexpression lines showed higher metabolite and enzyme activity than in the control VF strain. Furthermore, downregulation of expression of the same genes in the AN strain resulted in lower metabolite and enzyme activity than in the control AN strain. The newly generated expression vector, pM2Z-fun, has been successfully used to express target genes in C. protuberata and will be useful in further functional expression studies in other Ascomycota fungi. View Full-Text
Keywords: ToxA promoter; zeocin resistance; Curvularia protuberata; Curvularia thermotolerance virus; overexpression; downregulation ToxA promoter; zeocin resistance; Curvularia protuberata; Curvularia thermotolerance virus; overexpression; downregulation
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Liu, C.; Cleckler, B.; Morsy, M. Development of an Expression Vector to Overexpress or Downregulate Genes in Curvularia protuberata. J. Fungi 2018, 4, 54.

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