5 years ago

Production of a fungal furocoumarin by a polyketide synthase gene cluster confers the chemo-resistance of Neurospora crassa to the predation by fungivorous arthropods

Yan Wang, Jianing Ding, Yanxia Zhao, Jinjin Huang, Wenxiu Huang, Weifa Zheng, Weihua Yuan
The formation of sexual fruiting bodies and production of polyketides are believed to be the most important strategies for fungal survival in environmental insults. In Neurospora crassa, the backbone gene of polyketide synthase gene cluster 6 (pks-6), which is expressed at lower level under vegetative growth, is highly expressed during perithecia development. Intriguingly, deletion of pks-6 does not affect perithecia maturation. How the expression of pks-6 correlates with fungal sexual development remains to be established. Here, we showed that overexpression of pks-6 results in an enhanced production of an insecticidal furocoumarin (neurosporin A). Deletion of pks-6, however, abolished neurosporin A biosynthesis. Moreover, the content of neurosporin A negatively associates with the food preference of fungivores, where the pks-6 knockout strain is more prone to be grazed by collembolans Sinella curviseta. Additionally, during vegetative growth, confrontation with Drosophila melanogaster also results in an enhanced expression of pks-6 and production of neurosporin A. Thus, high expression of pks-6 positively interrelates with the chemo-resistance of N. crassa to arthropod predation. Our findings suggest that pks-6 confers the production of insecticidal neurosporin A counteracting the feeding attack by arthropods during sexual development of N. crassa.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.13791

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