Class I hydrophobin BcHpb1 is important for adhesion but not for later infection of Botrytis cinerea
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Hydrophobins are small secreted proteins unique to filamentous fungi. In this study, we cloned and characterized the class I hydrophobin gene BcHpb1 in the necrotrophic pathogen Botrytis cinerea. The BcHpb1 protein consisted of 117 amino acids. Similar to class I hydrophobins from other fungi, BcHpb1 contains eight conserved cysteine residues. The hydropathy plot of the BcHpb1 amino acid sequence was characteristic of a class I hydrophobin. These results indicated that the BcHpb1 gene encodes a class I hydrophobin. Vegetative growth of ΔBcHpb1 strains, null mutants of BcHpb1, was similar to that of the wild-type strain as were the conidiophores, conidia, appressoria and virulence on host plants. However, adherence of ΔBcHpb1 strains to hydrophobic surfaces was greatly reduced, implying that BcHpb1 is important for the hydrophobicity of conidia and that BcHpb1 may be required to adhere to plant surfaces under certain environmental conditions.
KeywordsGrey mold Pathogenicity Spore adhesion
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