Fungal hydrophobins are implicated in cell morphogenesis and pathogenicity in several plant pathogenic fungi including the rice blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea. A cDNA clone encoding a hydrophobin (magnaporin, MHP1) was isolated from a cDNA library constructed from rice leaves infected by M. grisea. The MHP1 codes for a typical fungal hydrophobin of 102 amino acids containing eight cysteine residues spaced in a conserved pattern. Hydropathy analysis of amino acids revealed that MHP1 belongs to the class II group of hydrophobins. The amino acid sequence of MHP1 exhibited about 20% similarity to MPG1, an M. grisea class I hydrophobin. Expression of MHP1 was highly induced during plant colonization and conidiation, but could hardly be detected during mycelial growth. Transformants in which MHP1 was inactivated by targeted gene replacement showed a detergent wettable phenotype, but were not altered in wettability with water. mhp1 mutants also exhibited pleiotropic effects on fungal morphogenesis, including reduction in conidiation, conidial germination, appressorium development and infectious growth in host cells. Furthermore, conidia of mhp1 mutants were defective in their cellular organelles and rapidly lose viability. As a result, mhp1 mutants exhibited a reduced ability to infect and colonize a susceptible rice cultivar. These phenotypes were recovered by re-introduction of an intact copy of MHP1. Taken together, these results indicate that MHP1 has essential roles in surface hydrophobicity and infection-related fungal development, and is required for pathogenicity of M. grisea.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology