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Open AccessArticle

Deletion of ptn1, a PTEN/TEP1 Orthologue, in Ustilago maydis Reduces Pathogenicity and Teliospore Development

Department of Biology, Program on Disease Evolution, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Fungi 2019, 5(1), 1;
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 19 December 2018 / Published: 20 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of Fungal Morphogenesis and Gene Expression)
The PTEN/PI3K/mTOR signal transduction pathway is involved in the regulation of biological processes such as metabolism, cell growth, cell proliferation, and apoptosis. This pathway has been extensively studied in mammals, leading to the conclusion that PTEN is a major tumor suppressor gene. PTEN orthologues have been characterized in a variety of organisms, both vertebrates and non-vertebrates, and studies of the associated PTEN/PI3K/mTOR pathway indicate that it is widely conserved. Studies in fungal systems indicated a role of PTEN in fungal defense mechanisms in Candida albicans, and in the developmental process of sporulation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The present study was aimed at investigating the role of the PTEN ortholog, ptn1, in Ustilago maydis, the pathogen of maize. U. maydis ptn1 mutant strains where ptn1 gene is deleted or overexpressed were examined for phenotypes associate with mating, virulence and spore formation. While the overexpression of ptn1 had no substantial effects on virulence, ptn1 deletion strains showed slight reductions in mating efficiency and significant reductions in virulence; tumor formation on stem and/or leaves were severely reduced. Moreover, tumors, when present, had significantly lower levels of mature teliospores, and the percent germination of such spores was similarly reduced. Thus, ptn1 is required for these important aspects of virulence in this fungus. View Full-Text
Keywords: Ustilago maydis; PTEN; teliospore development Ustilago maydis; PTEN; teliospore development
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vijayakrishnapillai, L.M.K.; Desmarais, J.S.; Groeschen, M.N.; Perlin, M.H. Deletion of ptn1, a PTEN/TEP1 Orthologue, in Ustilago maydis Reduces Pathogenicity and Teliospore Development. J. Fungi 2019, 5, 1.

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