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Professor Ma Zhonghua's group presented a novel mechanism of MAPK kinase BcMkk1 in regulating pathogenesis of Botrytis cinerea

Editor: Date:2018-10-10 Hits:242

The cell wall integrity (CWI) signaling pathway is required for remodeling of the fungal cell wall in a highly regulated and polarized manner during growth, morphogenesis, and responses to environmental challenges. However, the knowledge on functions of the CWI pathway in other cellular processes is limited. The fungal pathogen B. cinerea, a necrotrophic plant pathogen, causes gray mold diseases in numerous dicotyledonous plant species including high-value crops, resulting in substantial yield losses worldwide. The Botrytis research team led by Dr. Zhonghua Ma in the Institute of Biotechnology, Zhejiang University has discovered a novel regulatory mechanism of MAPK kinase Mkk1 in fungal pathogenesis. They reported their findings in the journal of PLOS Pathogens on September 15.

The Botrytis research team found that the MAPK kinase BcMkk1 positively regulates virulence via the CWI pathway. Unexpectedly, BcMkk1 also negatively regulates fungal virulence via restraining oxalic acid production, by impeding phosphorylation of the PAS kinase BcRim15 mediated by the kinase BcSch9. To our knowledge, this is the first report that a MAPK kinase can negatively modulate fungal virulence on host plants. The results provide novel insight into biological functions of a MAPK kinase in fungal pathogenesis.

Dr. Yanni Yin is the first author of this article. This work was supported by funds from the National Natural Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholar (31525020) and the Special Program for Agricultural Research (201303025).

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