The bZIP transcription factor BIP1 of the rice blast fungus is essential for infection and regulates a specific set of appressorium genes - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles PLoS Pathogens Year : 2024

The bZIP transcription factor BIP1 of the rice blast fungus is essential for infection and regulates a specific set of appressorium genes

Roland Beffa
  • Function : Author

Abstract

The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae differentiates specialized cells called appressoria that are required for fungal penetration into host leaves. In this study, we identified the novel basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor BIP1 ( B -ZIP I nvolved in P athogenesis- 1 ) that is essential for pathogenicity. BIP1 is required for the infection of plant leaves, even if they are wounded, but not for appressorium-mediated penetration of artificial cellophane membranes. This phenotype suggests that BIP1 is not implicated in the differentiation of the penetration peg but is necessary for the initial establishment of the fungus within plant cells. BIP1 expression was restricted to the appressorium by both transcriptional and post-transcriptional control. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis showed that 40 genes were down regulated in a BIP1 deletion mutant. Most of these genes were specifically expressed in the appressorium. They encode proteins with pathogenesis-related functions such as enzymes involved in secondary metabolism including those encoded by the ACE1 gene cluster, small secreted proteins such as SLP2, BAS3, BAS4, and AVR-Pi9 effectors, as well as plant cuticle and cell wall degrading enzymes. Interestingly, this BIP1 network is different from other known infection-related regulatory networks, highlighting the complexity of gene expression control during plant-fungal interactions. Promoters of BIP1 -regulated genes shared a GCN4/bZIP-binding DNA motif (TGACTC) binding in vitro to BIP1. Mutation of this motif in the promoter of MGG_08381 . 7 from the ACE1 gene cluster abolished its appressorium-specific expression, showing that BIP1 behaves as a transcriptional activator. In summary, our findings demonstrate that BIP1 is critical for the expression of early invasion-related genes in appressoria. These genes are likely needed for biotrophic invasion of the first infected host cell, but not for the penetration process itself. Through these mechanisms, the blast fungus strategically anticipates the host plant environment and responses during appressorium-mediated penetration.

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Karine Lambou, Andrew Tag, Alexandre Lassagne, Jérôme Collemare, Pierre-Henri Clergeot, et al.. The bZIP transcription factor BIP1 of the rice blast fungus is essential for infection and regulates a specific set of appressorium genes. PLoS Pathogens, 2024, 20 (1), pp.e1011945. ⟨10.1371/journal.ppat.1011945⟩. ⟨hal-04424482⟩
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