Current Genetics

, Volume 64, Issue 5, pp 1057–1069 | Cite as

Aquaporin1 regulates development, secondary metabolism and stress responses in Fusarium graminearum

  • Mingyu Ding
  • Jing Li
  • Xinyue Fan
  • Fang He
  • Xiaoyang Yu
  • Lei Chen
  • Shenshen Zou
  • Yuancun LiangEmail author
  • Jinfeng Yu
Original Article


The Ascomycete fungus Fusarium graminearum, the causal agent of Fusarium head blight of wheat and barley, has become a predominant model organism for the study of fungal phytopathogens. Aquaporins (AQPs) have been implicated in the transport of water, glycerol, and a variety of other small molecules in yeast, plants and animals. However, the role of these proteins in phytopathogenic fungi is not well understood. Here, we identified and attempted to elucidate the function of the five aquaporin genes in F. graminearum. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that FgAQPs are divided into two clades, with FgAQP1 in the first clade. The ∆AQP1 mutant formed whitish colonies with longer aerial hyphae and reduced conidiation and perithecium formation. The ∆AQP1 mutant conidia were morphologically abnormal and appeared to undergo abnormal germination. The ∆AQP1 mutant and the wild type strain were equally pathogenic, while the mutant produced significantly higher quantities of deoxynivalenol (DON). The ∆AQP1 mutant also exhibited increased resistance to osmotic and oxidative stress as well as cell-wall perturbing agents. Using FgAQP1-GFP and DAPI staining, we found that FgAQP1 is localized to the nuclear membrane in conidia. Importantly, deletion of FgAQP1 increased the severity of conidium autophagy. Taken together, these results suggest that FgAQP1 is involved in hyphal development, stress responses, secondary metabolism, and sexual and asexual reproduction in F. graminearum. Unlike the ∆AQP1 mutant, the ∆AQP2, ∆AQP3, ∆AQP4 and ∆AQP5 mutants had no variable phenotypes.


Aquaporin Fusarium graminearum Autophagy Conidial germination Deoxynivalenol Stress responses 



We thank Larry Dunkle (Emeritus Professor, Purdue University, USA) for improving this manuscript. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31171806), the Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (ZR2017MC020), the Wheat Innovation Team of Shandong Province Modern Agricultural Industry Technology System (SDAIT-01-09), and Funds of Shandong “Double Tops” Program (SYL2017XTTD11).

Supplementary material

294_2018_818_MOESM1_ESM.docx (796 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 795 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mingyu Ding
    • 1
  • Jing Li
    • 1
  • Xinyue Fan
    • 1
  • Fang He
    • 1
  • Xiaoyang Yu
    • 1
  • Lei Chen
    • 1
  • Shenshen Zou
    • 1
  • Yuancun Liang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jinfeng Yu
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, College of Plant ProtectionShandong Agricultural UniversityTai’anChina

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