Modulation of fungal virulence through CRZ1 regulated F-BAR-dependent actin remodeling and endocytosis in chickpea infecting phytopathogen Ascochyta rabiei

Manisha Sinha, Ankita Shree, Kunal Singh, Kamal Kumar, Shreenivas Kumar Singh, Vimlesh Kumar, Praveen Kumar Verma, Eva H. Stukenbrock
2021 PLoS Genetics  
Polarized hyphal growth of filamentous pathogenic fungi is an essential event for host penetration and colonization. The long-range early endosomal trafficking during hyphal growth is crucial for nutrient uptake, sensing of host-specific cues, and regulation of effector production. Bin1/Amphiphysin/Rvs167 (BAR) domain-containing proteins mediate fundamental cellular processes, including membrane remodeling and endocytosis. Here, we identified a F-BAR domain protein (ArF-BAR) in the necrotrophic
more » ... in the necrotrophic fungus Ascochyta rabiei and demonstrate its involvement in endosome-dependent fungal virulence on the host plant Cicer arietinum. We show that ArF-BAR regulates endocytosis at the hyphal tip, localizes to the early endosomes, and is involved in actin dynamics. Functional studies involving gene knockout and complementation experiments reveal that ArF-BAR is necessary for virulence. The loss-of-function of ArF-BAR gene results in delayed formation of apical septum in fungal cells near growing hyphal tip that is crucial for host penetration, and impaired secretion of a candidate effector having secretory signal peptide for translocation across the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. The mRNA transcripts of ArF-BAR were induced in response to oxidative stress and infection. We also show that ArF-BAR is able to tubulate synthetic liposomes, suggesting the functional role of F-BAR domain in membrane tubule formation in vivo. Further, our studies identified a stress-induced transcription factor, ArCRZ1 (Calcineurin-responsive zinc finger 1), as key transcriptional regulator of ArF-BAR expression. We propose a model in which ArCRZ1 functions upstream of ArF-BAR to regulate A. rabiei virulence through a mechanism that involves endocytosis, effector secretion, and actin cytoskeleton regulation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1009137 pmid:33999937 fatcat:cztdy5onirbezgzruivt4vlpoq