Browsing by Subject "Heterobasidion"

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  • Kovalchuk, Andriy; Zeng, Zhen; Ghimire, Rajendra P; Kivimäenpää, Minna; Raffaello, Tommaso; Liu, Mengxia; Mukrimin, Mukrimin; Kasanen, Risto; Sun, Hui; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta; Holopainen, Jarmo K; Asiegbu, Fred O (BioMed Central, 2019)
    Abstract Background Root and butt rot of conifer trees caused by fungi belonging to the Heterobasidion annosum species complex is one of the most economically important fungal diseases in commercial conifer plantations throughout the Northern hemisphere. We investigated the interactions between Heterobasidion fungi and their host by conducting dual RNA-seq and chemical analysis on Norway spruce trees naturally infected by Heterobasidion spp. We analyzed host and pathogen transcriptome and phenolic and terpenoid contents of the spruce trees. Results Presented results emphasize the role of the phenylpropanoid and flavonoid pathways in the chemical defense of Norway spruce trees. Accumulation of lignans was observed in trees displaying symptoms of wood decay. A number of candidate genes with a predicted role in the higher level regulation of spruce defense responses were identified. Our data indicate a possible role of abscisic acid (ABA) signaling in the spruce defense against Heterobasidion infection. Fungal transcripts corresponding to genes encoding carbohydrate- and lignin-degrading enzymes, secondary metabolism genes and effector-like genes were expressed during the host colonization. Conclusions Our results provide additional insight into defense strategies employed by Norway spruce trees against Heterobasidion infection. The potential applications of the identified candidate genes as markers for higher resistance against root and butt rot deserve further evaluation.
  • Kovalchuk, Andriy; Zeng, Zhen; Ghimire, Rajendra P.; Kivimäenpää, Minna; Raffaello, Tommaso; Liu, Mengxia; Mukrimin, Mukrimin; Kasanen, Risto Aarne Olavi; Sun, Hui; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta; Holopainen, Jarmo K.; Asiegbu, Frederick Obioma (2019)
    BackgroundRoot and butt rot of conifer trees caused by fungi belonging to the Heterobasidion annosum species complex is one of the most economically important fungal diseases in commercial conifer plantations throughout the Northern hemisphere. We investigated the interactions between Heterobasidion fungi and their host by conducting dual RNA-seq and chemical analysis on Norway spruce trees naturally infected by Heterobasidion spp. We analyzed host and pathogen transcriptome and phenolic and terpenoid contents of the spruce trees.ResultsPresented results emphasize the role of the phenylpropanoid and flavonoid pathways in the chemical defense of Norway spruce trees. Accumulation of lignans was observed in trees displaying symptoms of wood decay. A number of candidate genes with a predicted role in the higher level regulation of spruce defense responses were identified. Our data indicate a possible role of abscisic acid (ABA) signaling in the spruce defense against Heterobasidion infection. Fungal transcripts corresponding to genes encoding carbohydrate- and lignin-degrading enzymes, secondary metabolism genes and effector-like genes were expressed during the host colonization.ConclusionsOur results provide additional insight into defense strategies employed by Norway spruce trees against Heterobasidion infection. The potential applications of the identified candidate genes as markers for higher resistance against root and butt rot deserve further evaluation.
  • Mukrimin, Mukrimin; Kovalchuk, Andriy; Ghimire, Rajendra P.; Kivimaenpaa, Minna; Sun, Hui; Holopainen, Jarmo K.; Asiegbu, Fred O. (2019)
    Main conclusion Two terpene compounds and four genes were identified as potential biomarkers for further evaluation for Scots pine susceptibility or tolerance against Heterobasidion annosum. Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) is one of the main sources of timber in the boreal zone of Eurasia. Commercial pine plantations are vulnerable to root and butt rot disease caused by the fungus Heterobasidion annosum. The pathogen affects host growth rate, causes higher mortality and decreases in timber quality, resulting in considerable economic losses to forest owners. Genetic and biochemical factors contributing to Scots pine tolerance against H. annosum infection are not well understood. We assessed the predictive values of a set of potential genetic and chemical markers in a field experiment. We determined the expression levels of 25 genes and the concentrations of 36 terpenoid compounds in needles of 16 Scots pine trees randomly selected from a natural population prior to artificial infection. Stems of the same trees were artificially inoculated with H. annosum, and the length of necrotic lesions was documented 5 months post inoculation. Higher expression level of four genes included in our analysis and encoding predicted alpha-pinene synthase (two genes), geranyl diphosphate synthase (GPPS), and metacaspase 5 (MC5), could be associated with trees exhibiting increased levels of necrotic lesion formation in response to fungal inoculation. In contrast, concentrations of two terpenoid compounds, beta-caryophyllene and alpha-humulene, showed significant negative correlations with the lesion size. Further studies with larger sample size will help to elucidate new biomarkers or clarify the potential of the evaluated markers for use in Scots pine disease resistance breeding programs.
  • Mukrimin, Mukrimin; Conrad, Anna O.; Kovalchuk, Andriy; Julkunen-Tiitto, Riitta; Bonello, Pierluigi; Asiegbu, Fred O. (2019)
    Conifer trees, including Norway spruce, are threatened by fungi of the Heterobasidion annosum species complex, which severely affect timber quality and cause economic losses to forest owners. The timely detection of infected trees is complicated, as the pathogen resides within the heartwood and sapwood of infected trees. The presence of the disease and the extent of the wood decay often becomes evident only after tree felling. Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy is a potential method for non-destructive sample analysis that may be useful for identifying infected trees in this pathosystem. We performed FT-IR analysis of 18 phloem, 18 xylem, and 18 needle samples from asymptomatic and symptomatic Norway spruce trees. FT-IR spectra from 1066 – 912 cm−1 could be used to distinguish phloem, xylem, and needle tissue extracts. FT-IR spectra collected from xylem and needle extracts could also be used to discriminate between asymptomatic and symptomatic trees using spectral bands from 1657 – 994 cm−1 and 1104 – 994 cm−1, respectively. A partial least squares regression model predicted the concentration of condensed tannins, a defense-related compound, in phloem of asymptomatic and symptomatic trees. This work is the first to show that FT-IR spectroscopy can be used for the identification of Norway spruce trees naturally infected with Heterobasidion spp.
  • Mukrimin, Mukrimin; Kovalchuk, Andriy; Neves, Leandro G.; Jaber, Emad H. A.; Haapanen, Matti; Kirst, Matias; Asiegbu, Fred O. (2018)
    Root and butt rot caused by members of the Heterobasidion annosum species complex is the most economically important disease of conifer trees in boreal forests. Wood decay in the infected trees dramatically decreases their value and causes considerable losses to forest owners. Trees vary in their susceptibility to Heterobasidion infection, but the genetic determinants underlying the variation in the susceptibility are not well-understood. We performed the identification of Norway spruce genes associated with the resistance to Heterobasidion parviporum infection using genome-wide exon-capture approach. Sixty-four clonal Norway spruce lines were phenotyped, and their responses to H. parviporum inoculation were determined by lesion length measurements. Afterwards, the spruce lines were genotyped by targeted resequencing and identification of genetic variants (SNPs). Genome-wide association analysis identified 10 SNPs located within 8 genes as significantly associated with the larger necrotic lesions in response to H. parviporum inoculation. The genetic variants identified in our analysis are potential marker candidates for future screening programs aiming at the differentiation of disease-susceptible and resistant trees.
  • Palmberg, Christel (Suomen metsätieteellinen seura, 1969)
  • Hristozova, Nevena (Helsingfors universitet, 2012)
    The white rot fungus Heterobasidion annosum s.l. is a basidiomycete which is considered to be the most economical important pathogen of conifer trees (Pinus, Picea and Abies) in the northern hemisphere. Presently, the knowledge on the biology and molecular aspects of the Heterobasidion pathosystem is still poor and this is the major set-back in preventing the spread of the pathogen. A deeper investigation at the molecular level of the pathogenicity factors involved during the infection process is very important to better control the disease. Intra-cellular signal-transduction pathways, and in particular the Mitogen Activated Protein Kinases (MAPKs), have been shown to play key roles in the infection cycle in many fungal pathogens, being pivotal in survival, appressorial formation, sporulation and response to various biotic and abiotic stresses. The aim of this study is to characterize a specific H. annosum MAPK, with high sequence homology to FUS3 gene (involved in mating) in S. cerevisiae and with PMK1 gene (involved in appressoria formation) in Magnaporthe grisea. In order to study the function of this MAPK in H. annosum, we performed a complementation experiment in the S. cerevisiae fus3?? mutant. Expression level profiles, proteomics and immunology studies were used to distinguish between phosphorylated/active and non-phosphorylated/inactive form of the MAPK. Some valuable insights on this kinase cascade in Heterobasidion were discovered, but further studies are required to fully understand its role in the lifecycle of this fungus.
  • Rainio, Pauli (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    In Norway spruce (Picea abies) dominated mineral soil sites, the polypore Heterobasidion parviporum often causes severe decay problems (butt rot, root rot). Not much is however known on the ability of H. parviporum to cause decay losses in peatland. The purpose of this study was to answer some fundamental question: 1) Is H. parviporum able to cause decay losses in drained mires? 2) Is there an effect of other soil microbes during saprotrophic growth of Heterobasidion on peat soil? 3) What are the potential inhibitory effects of microbes inhabiting peat soil on growth of Heterobasidion? For the decay study, wood discs (P. abies) in mesh bags were buried at the different forest sites; mineral soil and peatlands (including drained mire and undrained mire). The amount of weight loss was documented after four months. The study was repeated in vitro by autoclaving soil samples from these sites together with wood discs followed by inoculation with H. parviporum. On mineral soil, H. parviporum decayed spruce (P. abies) wood disc much more than on non-drained pristine mire. On drained (ditched) mire, no significant difference in the weight loss was observed. H. parviporum grew significantly more on the sterilized soil and decayed more wood, compared to non-sterilized soil. The results suggested that secreted metabolites in the unsterilized soil may be able to significantly suppress saprotrophic growth of H. parviporum. In the fungal growth inhibition experiment, water- and acetone-soluble substances were extracted from the soil with acetone and water. No fungal growth inhibiting substances were detected from the various peat soils or mineral soils.