Because most efforts to understand the molecular mechanisms underpinning fungal pathogenicity have focused on studying the function and role of individual genes, relatively little is known about how transcriptional machineries globally regulate and coordinate the expression of a large group of genes involved in pathogenesis. Using quantitative real-time PCR, we analyzed the expression patterns of 206 transcription factor (TF) genes in the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae under 32 conditions, including multiple infection-related developmental stages and various abiotic stresses. The resulting data, which are publicly available via an online platform, provided new insights into how these TFs are regulated and potentially work together to control cellular responses to a diverse array of stimuli. High degrees of differential TF expression were observed under the conditions tested. More than 50% of the 206 TF genes were up-regulated during conidiation and/or in conidia. Mutations in ten conidiation-specific TF genes caused defects in conidiation. Expression patterns in planta were similar to those under oxidative stress conditions. Mutants of in planta inducible genes not only exhibited sensitive to oxidative stress but also failed to infect rice. These experimental validations clearly demonstrated the value of TF expression patterns in predicting the function of individual TF genes. The regulatory network of TF genes revealed by this study provides a solid foundation for elucidating how M. oryzae regulates its pathogenesis, development, and stress responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology