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Indole-3-acetic acid in Fusarium graminearum: Identification of biosynthetic pathways and characterization of physiological effects

Luo, K., Rocheleau, H., Qi, P.F., Zheng, Y.L., Zhao, H.Y., Ouellet, T. (2016). Indole-3-acetic acid in Fusarium graminearum: Identification of biosynthetic pathways and characterization of physiological effects, 120(9), 1135-1145. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.funbio.2016.06.002

Abstract

© 2016 Fusarium graminearum is a devastating pathogenic fungus causing fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat. This fungus can produce indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and a very large amount of IAA accumulates in wheat head tissues during the first few days of infection by F. graminearum. Using liquid culture conditions, we have determined that F. graminearum can use tryptamine (TAM) and indole-3-acetonitrile (IAN) as biosynthetic intermediates to produce IAA. It is the first time that F. graminearum is shown to use the L-tryptophan-dependent TAM and IAN pathways rather than the indole-3-acetamide or indole-3-pyruvic acid pathways to produce IAA. Our experiments also showed that exogenous IAA was metabolized by F. graminearum. Exogenous IAA, TAM, and IAN inhibited mycelial growth; IAA and IAN also affected the hyphae branching pattern and delayed macroconidium germination. IAA and TAM had a small positive effect on the production of the mycotoxin 15-ADON while IAN inhibited its production. Our results showed that IAA and biosynthetic intermediates had a significant effect on F. graminearum physiology and suggested a new area of exploration for fungicidal compounds.

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