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The mating-type locus b of the sugarcane smut Sporisorium scitamineum is essential for mating, filamentous growth and pathogenicity.

Fungal Genet Biol; 86: 1-8, 2016 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26563415
Sporisorium scitamineum is the causal agent of sugarcane smut, which is one of the most serious constraints to global sugarcane production. S. scitamineum and Ustilago maydis are two closely related smut fungi, that are predicted to harbor similar sexual mating processes/system. To elucidate the molecular basis of sexual mating in S. scitamineum, we identified and deleted the ortholog of mating-specific U. maydis locus b, in S. scitamineum. The resultant b-deletion mutant was defective in mating and pathogenicity in S. scitamineum. Furthermore, a functional b locus heterodimer could trigger filamentous growth without mating in S. scitamineum, and functionally replace the b locus in U. maydis in terms of triggering aerial filament production and forming solopathogenic strains, which do not require sexual mating prior to pathogenicity on the host plants.