Characterization of small GTPase Cdc42 from the ectomycorrhizal fungus Suillus bovinus and Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of fungi

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Title: Characterization of small GTPase Cdc42 from the ectomycorrhizal fungus Suillus bovinus and Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of fungi
Author: Hanif, Mubashir
Contributor organization: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biosciences, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Helsingin yliopisto, biotieteellinen tiedekunta, bio- ja ympäristötieteiden laitos
Helsingfors universitet, biovetenskapliga fakulteten, institutionen för bio- och miljövetenskaper
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2004-04
Language: eng
Thesis level: Doctoral dissertation
Abstract: Ectomycorrhizal formation between the host tree, Pinus sylvestris and fungal symbiont, Suillus bovinus was investigated at the molecular level by isolating genes regulating the organization of the actin cytoskeleton in the fungal partner S. bovinus. An Agrobacterium tumefaciens mediated transformation (ATMT) system was developed for the ectomycorrhizal fungi in order to assign specific functions to the cloned molecules. The developed ATMT system was also used to transform a plant pathogenic fungus, Helminthosporium turcicum, to hygromycin B resistance. Small GTPases Cdc42 and Rac1, the regulators of actin cytoskeleton in eukaryotes were isolated from S. bovinus. Sbcdc42 and Sbrac1, are both expressed in vegetative and in the symbiotic hyphae of S. bovinus . Using IIF microscopy, Cdc42 and actin were co-localized at the tips of vegetative hyphae and were visualized in association with the plasma membrane in swollen cells typical to the symbiotic hyphae. These results suggest that the small GTPases Cdc42 may play a significant role in the polarized growth of S. bovinus hyphae and regulate fungal morphogenesis during ectomycorrhiza formation through reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton. The functional equality of Cdc42 was tested in yeast complementation experiments using a Saccharomyces cerevisiae temperature sensitive mutant, cdc42-1ts. The genomic clone of CDC42 was isolated from S. bovinus genomic DNA via specific primers for Cdc42. The analogous S. cerevisiae cdc42 mutations, dominant active G12V and dominant negative D118A, were generated in the Sbcdc42 gene by in-vitro mutagenesis. The ectomycorrhizal fungi, S. bovinus, P. involutus and H. cylindroporum were transformed using ATMT and phleomycin as a selectable marker. PCR screeing suggested that the T-DNA was inserted in all the three fungal genomes but the fate of integration could not be proved by Southern blot analysis. An alternative Agrobacterium strain, AGL-1 and selection marker, hygromycin was used to transform our model fungus S. bovinus. PCR and Southern analysis suggested an improved efficiency of transformation. All the transformed fungal colonies selected for hygromycin gave positives in PCR and the Southerns showed multiple or single copy T-DNA integrations into the S. bovinus genome. Using the same Agrobacterium strain and the selectable marker, a maize pathogen, H. turcicum was also subjected to ATMT. The H. turcicum transformation data suggested the single copy T-DNA integrations into the genome of the screened transformants that further confirms wider applicability of the ATMT. The plasmids carrying the wild-type (pHGCDC42) and the mutated Sbcdc42 alleles (pHGGV; pHGDA) under Agaricus bisporus gpd promoter were constructed in an A. tumefaciens vector. ATMT was used to transform S. bovinus with the plasmids carrying the wild-type and mutated Sbcdc42 alleles. The isolation of Sbcdc42 and Sbrac1 genes and some other functionally related genes from ectomycorrhizal fungus, S. bovinus will form the basis of future work to resolve the signalling pathway leading to ectomycorrhizal symbiosis. The development of ATMT system will be a valuable tool in analysing the exact function of signalling pathway components in ectomycorrhizal symbiosis or in plant pathogenic interactions. The transformation frequency and broad applicability along with the simplicity of T-DNA integration make Agrobacterium a valuable, new and a powerfull tool for targeted and insertional mutagenesis in these plant associated fungi. The developed ATMT systems should therefore make it possible to generate large number of transformants with tagged genes which could then be screened for their specific roles in symbiosis and pathogenecity, respectively.
Rights: Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.

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