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Fungal biology

Expression profiling and functional analyses of BghPTR2, a peptide transporter from Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei.


PMID 26058531

Abstract

The obligate ascomycete parasitic fungus Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei (Bgh) has a unique lifestyle as it is completely dependent on living barley leaves as substrate for growth. Genes involved in inorganic nitrogen utilization are notably lacking, and the fungus relies on uptake of host-derived peptides and amino acids. The PTR2 transporter family takes up di- and tri- peptides in a proton coupled process and filamentous fungi typically have two or more di/tri peptide transporters. Here we show that Bgh appear to have one PTR2 that can restore dipeptide uptake in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae PTR2 deletion strain. The Bgh PTR2 gene is expressed in conidia and germinating conidia. During Bgh infection of barley the expression level of the BghPTR2 gene is high in the appressorial germ tube, low in the haustoria and high again during conidiation and secondary infection in the compatible and intermediate resistant interactions. BghPTR2 appears to be important for the initial establishment of fungal infection but not for uptake of di-tri-peptides at the haustorial interface. Based on the expression profile we suggest that BghPTR2 is active in internal transport of nutrient reserves and/or uptake of break down products from the plant surface during the early infection stages.