Forward Genetics Approach Reveals Host Genotype-Dependent Importance of Accessory Chromosomes in the Fungal Wheat Pathogen .
Habig Michael,Quade Jakob,Stukenbrock Eva Holtgrewe
The fungal wheat pathogen possesses a large complement of accessory chromosomes showing presence/absence polymorphism among isolates. These chromosomes encode hundreds of genes; however, their functional role and why the chromosomes have been maintained over long evolutionary times are so far not known. In this study, we addressed the functional relevance of eight accessory chromosomes in reference isolate IPO323. We induced chromosome losses by inhibiting the β-tubulin assembly during mitosis using carbendazim and generated several independent isogenic strains, each lacking one of the accessory chromosomes. We confirmed chromosome losses by electrophoretic karyotyping and whole-genome sequencing. To assess the importance of the individual chromosomes during host infection, we performed assays comparing disease development results in wild-type and chromosome mutant strains. Loss of the accessory chromosomes 14, 16, 18, 19, and 21 resulted in increased virulence on wheat cultivar Runal but not on cultivars Obelisk, Titlis, and Riband. Moreover, some accessory chromosomes affected the switch from biotrophy to necrotrophy as strains lacking accessory chromosomes 14, 18, 19, and 21 showed a significantly earlier onset of necrosis than the wild type on the Runal cultivar. In general, we observed that the timing of the lifestyle switch affects the fitness of Taking the results together, this study was the first to use a forward-genetics approach to demonstrate a cultivar-dependent functional relevance of the accessory chromosomes of during host infection. is a prominent fungal pathogen of wheat of worldwide distribution. This fungus shows a remarkable genome organization, with a large number of chromosomes that are present in only some isolates and therefore considered to be "accessory" chromosomes. To date, the function of these accessory chromosomes in has been unknown, although their maintenance in the species over evolutionary times suggests a functional relevance. Here we deleted whole accessory chromosomes to test the effect of these chromosomes on host specificity and virulence of the fungus. We show for the first time that some accessory chromosomes of affect the fitness of the fungus during host infection in a cultivar-dependent manner. These results show that the accessory chromosomes encode host-specific virulence determinants having a negative effect on fitness. Understanding the population dynamic of the accessory chromosomes and the molecular interaction of pathogen and plant traits is crucial to improve wheat-breeding strategies.
Isolation, characterization, and genetic analysis of monosomic, aneuploid mutants of Candida albicans.
Barton R C,Gull K
A white, prototrophic Candida albicans strain, heterozygous for the ADE2 gene (ade2/ADE2), was treated with the antimitotic agent methyl benzimidazole carbamate, and yielded red, adenine-requiring colonies at a rate of 4 x 10(-3), an order of magnitude higher than the spontaneous rate of Ade- colony formation. These red Ade- colonies were small, growing at approximately half the rate of the parent strain, and gave rise to large red colonies spontaneously. When the chromosomes of the small red colonies were separated by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, the band hybridizing with the ADE2 gene was diminished in staining intensity by half relative to the parent and large red-colony strains. Restriction fragment-length polymorphism analysis and auxotrophic mutant spectra after mutagenesis suggested that the small red Ade- strains were monosomic aneuploids lacking one of a pair of chromosome homologues, while the large red strains had regained a homologue, presumably via a second non-disjunction event. Parasexual genetic analysis of two of the auxotrophs isolated from a putative aneuploid suggested that both mutations were linked to the ADE2 gene. These experiments suggest that targeted chromosome loss and monosomic, aneuploid strains have the potential to extend the scope of genetic analysis in this diploid, asexual organism.
Reevaluation of the 9 compounds reported conclusive positive in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae aneuploidy test systems by the Gene-Tox Program using strain D61.M of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
The state of aneuploidy test methodology was appraised by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1986 in analyzing published data. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae 9 chemicals were reported to be conclusive positive for aneuploidy induction in either mitotic or meiotic cells. We reevaluated these 9 chemicals using Saccharomyces cerevisiae D61.M, a strain that detects mitotic chromosome malsegregation. Acetone (lowest effective dose (LED): 40 microliters/ml), bavistan (LED: 5 micrograms/ml), benomyl (LED: 30 micrograms/ml) and oncodazole (LED: 4 micrograms/ml) induced a dose-dependent increase in the frequencies of chromosomal malsegregation. Ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS; highest tested dose (HTD): 1000 micrograms/ml) and methyl methanesulfonate (MMS; HTD: 100 micrograms/ml) did not induce malsegregation but were both potent inducers of other genetic events, detected by an increase in the frequencies of cyhR cells. No increases in both endpoints (malsegregation and other genetic events) were observed after treatment of S. cerevisiae D61.M with cyclophosphamide (CP; HTD: 16 mg/ml) in the absence of S9, p-D,L-fluorophenylalanine (p-FPA; HTD: 250 micrograms/ml) and phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (TPA; HTD: 50 micrograms/ml). A marginal increase in the frequency of mitotic chromosome malsegregation was obtained with cyclophosphamide in the presence of S9. Thus our test results largely disagree with those previously published by various authors and taken as conclusive by EPA. We interpret the discrepancies to be due to lack of properly controlled testing (e.g., no check for multiple mutational events). Only with a careful test design it is possible to discriminate between chemicals inducing only chromosome loss and no other genetic effects (e.g., acetone, oncodazole), chemicals inducing a variety of genetic damage but no chromosome loss (e.g., EMS, MMS) and chemicals inducing neither chromosome loss nor other genetic events in yeast (e.g., TPA, p-FPA).
Screening for microtubule-disrupting antifungal agents by using a mitotic-arrest mutant of Aspergillus nidulans and novel action of phenylalanine derivatives accompanying tubulin loss.
Kiso Tetsuo,Fujita Ken-Ichi,Ping Xu,Tanaka Toshio,Taniguchi Makoto
Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
The microtubule, which is one of the major targets of anthelmintics, anticancer drugs, and fungicides, is composed mainly of alpha- and beta-tubulins. We focused on a unique characteristic of an Aspergillus nidulans benA33 mutant to screen for microtubule-disrupting antifungal agents. This mutant, which has a beta-tubulin with a mutation of a single amino acid, undergoes mitotic arrest due to the formation of hyperstable microtubules at 37 degrees C. The heat sensitivity of the mutant is remedied by some antimicrotubule agents. We found that an agar plate assay with the mutant was able to distinguish three types of microtubule inhibitors. The growth recovery zones of the mutant were formed around paper disks containing microtubule inhibitors, including four benzimidazoles, ansamitocin P-3, griseofulvin, and rhizoxin, on the agar plate at 37 degrees C. Nocodazole, thiabendazole, and griseofulvin reversed the mitotic arrest of the mutant and promoted its hyphal growth. Ansamitocin P-3 and rhizoxin showed growth recovery zones around the growth-inhibitory zones. Benomyl and carbendazim also reversed mitotic arrest but produced weaker growth recovery than the aforementioned drugs. Other microtubule inhibitors, such as colchicine, Colcemid, paclitaxel, podophyllotoxin, TN-16, vinblastine, and vincristine, as well as some cytoskeletal inhibitors tested, did not show such activity. In our screening, we newly identified two mycotoxins, citrinin and patulin, two sesquiterpene dialdehydes, polygodial and warburganal, and four phenylalanine derivatives, arphamenine A, L-2,5-dihydrophenylalanine (DHPA), N-tosyl-L-phenylalanine chloromethylketone, and N-carbobenzoxy-L-phenylalanine chloromethyl ketone. In a wild-type strain of A. nidulans, DHPA caused selective losses of microtubules, as determined by fluorescence microscopy, and of both alpha- and beta-tubulins, as determined by Western blot analysis. This screening method involving the benA33 mutant of A. nidulans is useful, convenient, and highly selective. The phenylalanine derivatives tested are of a novel type of microtubule-disrupting antifungal agents, producing an accompanying loss of tubulins, and are different from well-known tubulin inhibitors affecting the assembly of tubulin dimers into microtubules.
Genetic effects of methyl benzimidazole-2-yl-carbamate on Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Wood J S
Molecular and cellular biology
The genetic effects of the mitotic inhibitor methyl benzimidazole-2-yl-carbamate (MBC) have been studied in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. MBC had little or no effect on the frequency of mutation. In some experiments MBC caused an increase in the frequency of mitotic recombination; however, this effect was small and not reproducible. The primary genetic effect of MBC was to induce mitotic chromosome loss at a high frequency. Chromosome loss occurred at equal frequencies for all chromosomes tested (13 of 16). Cells which had lost multiple chromosomes were found more frequently than predicted if individual chromosome loss events were independent. The probability of loss for a particular chromosome increased with length of time cells were incubated with MBC. MBC treatment also increased the frequency at which polyploid cells were found. These results suggested that MBC acted to disrupt the structure or function of the mitotic spindle and cause chromosome nondisjunction.