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A histone deacetylase, MoHOS2 regulates asexual development and virulence in the rice blast fungus

Abstract

Histone acetylation/deacetylation represent a general and efficient epigenetic mechanism through which fungal cells control gene expression. Here we report developmental requirement of MoHOS2-mediated histone deacetylation (HDAC) for the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae. Structural similarity and nuclear localization indicated that MoHOS2 is an ortholog of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Hos2, which is a member of class I histone deacetylases and subunit of Set3 complex. Deletion of MoHOS2 led to 25% reduction in HDAC activity, compared to the wild-type, confirming that it is a bona-fide HDAC. Lack of MoHOS2 caused decrease in radial growth and impinged dramatically on asexual sporulation. Such reduction in HDAC activity and phenotypic defects of ΔMohos2 were recapitulated by a single amino acid change in conserved motif that is known to be important for HDAC activity. Expression analysis revealed up-regulation of MoHOS2 and concomitant down-regulation of some of the key genes involved in asexual reproduction under sporulation-promoting condition. In addition, the deletion mutant exhibited defect in appressorium formation from both germ tube tip and hyphae. As a result, ΔMohos2 was not able to cause disease symptoms. Wound-inoculation showed that the mutant is compromised in its ability to grow inside host plants as well. We found that some of ROS detoxifying genes and known effector genes are de-regulated in the mutant. Taken together, our data suggest that MoHOS2-dependent histone deacetylation is pivotal for proper timing and induction of transcription of the genes that coordinate developmental changes and host infection in M. oryzae.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (NRF-2017R1D1A3B03033932).

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Correspondence to Junhyun Jeon.

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Lee, J., Lee, JJ. & Jeon, J. A histone deacetylase, MoHOS2 regulates asexual development and virulence in the rice blast fungus. J Microbiol. 57, 1115–1125 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12275-019-9363-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12275-019-9363-5

Keywords

  • histone modifications
  • histone acetylation/deacetylation
  • HDAC
  • HOS2
  • rice blast disease
  • fungal development
  • fungal pathogenesis