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Qianqian Jiang
Yongcai Li
Renyan Mao
Yang Bi
Yongxiang Liu
Miao Zhang
Rong Li
Yangyang Yang
Dov B Prusky 

Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK), a key downstream target protein in the Ca2+ signaling pathway of eukaryotes, plays an important regulatory role in the growth, development and pathogenicity of plant fungi. Three AaCaMKs (AaCaMK1, AaCaMK2 and AaCaMK3) with conserved PKC_like superfamily domains, ATP binding sites and ACT sites have been cloned from Alternaria alternata, However, their regulatory mechanism in A. alternata remains unclear. In this study, the function of the AaCaMKs in the development, infection structure differentiation and pathogenicity of A. alternata was elucidated through targeted gene disruption. The single disruption of AaCaMKs had no impact on the vegetative growth and spore morphology but significantly influenced hyphae growth, sporulation, biomass accumulation and melanin biosynthesis. Further expression analysis revealed that the AaCaMKs were up-regulated during the infection structure differentiation of A. alternata on hydrophobic and pear wax substrates. In vitro and in vivo analysis further revealed that the deletion of a single AaCaMKs gene significantly reduced the A. alternata conidial germination, appressorium formation and infection hyphae formation. In addition, pharmacological analysis confirmed that the CaMK specific inhibitor, KN93, inhibited conidial germination and appressorium formation in A. alternata. Meanwhile, the AaCaMKs genes deficiency significantly reduced the A. alternata pathogenicity. These results demonstrate that AaCaMKs regulate the development, infection structure differentiation and pathogenicity of A. alternata and provide potential targets for new effective fungicides.

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AaCaMKs Positively Regulate Development, Infection Structure Differentiation and Pathogenicity in Alternaria alternata, Causal Agent of Pear Black Spot

Qianqian Jiang
Yongcai Li
Renyan Mao
Yang Bi
Yongxiang Liu
Miao Zhang
Rong Li
Yangyang Yang
Dov B Prusky 

AaCaMKs Positively Regulate Development, Infection Structure Differentiation and Pathogenicity in Alternaria alternata, Causal Agent of Pear Black Spot

Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK), a key downstream target protein in the Ca2+ signaling pathway of eukaryotes, plays an important regulatory role in the growth, development and pathogenicity of plant fungi. Three AaCaMKs (AaCaMK1, AaCaMK2 and AaCaMK3) with conserved PKC_like superfamily domains, ATP binding sites and ACT sites have been cloned from Alternaria alternata, However, their regulatory mechanism in A. alternata remains unclear. In this study, the function of the AaCaMKs in the development, infection structure differentiation and pathogenicity of A. alternata was elucidated through targeted gene disruption. The single disruption of AaCaMKs had no impact on the vegetative growth and spore morphology but significantly influenced hyphae growth, sporulation, biomass accumulation and melanin biosynthesis. Further expression analysis revealed that the AaCaMKs were up-regulated during the infection structure differentiation of A. alternata on hydrophobic and pear wax substrates. In vitro and in vivo analysis further revealed that the deletion of a single AaCaMKs gene significantly reduced the A. alternata conidial germination, appressorium formation and infection hyphae formation. In addition, pharmacological analysis confirmed that the CaMK specific inhibitor, KN93, inhibited conidial germination and appressorium formation in A. alternata. Meanwhile, the AaCaMKs genes deficiency significantly reduced the A. alternata pathogenicity. These results demonstrate that AaCaMKs regulate the development, infection structure differentiation and pathogenicity of A. alternata and provide potential targets for new effective fungicides.

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