Xyr1 regulates xylanase but not cellulase formation in the head blight fungus Fusarium graminearum
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Fusarium graminearum is a plant pathogen that causes severe economical losses by infecting numerous agriculturally important plants and until now most culture plants have only low levels of Fusarium resistance. The plant cell wall can be assumed as the first target that has to be overcome by plant pathogens. Therefore pathogenic organisms are known to produce a complex cocktail of plant cell wall lytic enzymes. Xylanases are besides cellulases the most prominent enzymes secreted by Fusarium during growth on plant cell walls. We identified a putative regulator of xylanase production with high similarity to the Aspergillus niger XlnR and the Trichoderma reesei Xyr1 proteins. Disruptant strains of F. graminearum were heavily impaired in xylose utilization and xylanase production on wheat cell walls. In contrast to other filamentous fungi the lack of this transcriptional activator had no effect on the induction of cellulases.
KeywordsFusarium graminearum Xylanases Cellulases XlnR Xyr1
This study was supported by the Austrian Genome Research Project GENAU by the Austrian Ministry of Science.
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