, Volume 272, Issue 6, pp 639-650
Date: 01 Dec 2004

A H2O2-producing glyoxal oxidase is required for filamentous growth and pathogenicity in Ustilago maydis

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In the phytopathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis the mating-type loci control the transition from yeast-like to filamentous growth required for pathogenic development. In a large REMI (restriction enzyme mediated integration) screen, non-pathogenic mutants were isolated in a haploid strain that had been engineered to be pathogenic. In one of these mutants, which showed a specific morphological phenotype, the tagged gene, glo1 , was found to encode a product that is highly homologous to a glyoxal oxidase gene from the wood-rot fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium. Glyoxal oxidase homologues are found in human, plant pathogenic fungi and in plants, but not in other mammals or yeasts. To confirm the function of the glo1 gene, null mutations were generated in compatible haploid U. maydis strains. In crosses null mutants were unable to generate filamentous dikaryons, and were completely non-pathogenic. Using a Glo1-overproducing strain we demonstrated that Glo1 is membrane bound, oxidizes a series of small aldehydes (2O2. The enzyme needs to be activated, presumably by auto-oxidation, to show full activity. A potential role for Glo1 during filamentous growth and pathogenic development of U. maydis is proposed.

Communicated by P. J. Punt
The first two authors contributed equally to this work
We dedicate this work to the memory of Jeff Schell, a charismatic and outstanding person who loved science and respected people