The Gal4-Type Transcription Factor Pro1 Integrates Inputs from Two Different MAPK Cascades to Regulate Development in the Fungal Pathogen Fusarium oxysporum
Di Pietro, Antonio
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Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways control fundamental aspects of growth and development in fungi. In the soil-inhabiting ascomycete Fusarium oxysporum, which causes vascular wilt disease in more than a hundred crops, the MAPKs Fmk1 and Mpk1 regulate an array of developmental and virulence-related processes. The downstream components mediating these disparate functions are largely unknown. Here we find that the GATA-type transcription factor Pro1 integrates signals from both MAPK pathways to control a subset of functions, including quorum sensing, hyphal fusion and chemotropism. By contrast, Pro1 is dispensable for other downstream processes such as invasive hyphal growth and virulence, or response to cell wall stress. We further show that regulation of Pro1 activity by these upstream pathways occurs at least in part at the level of transcription. Besides the MAPK pathways, upstream regulators of Pro1 transcription also include the Velvet regulatory complex, the signaling protein Soft (Fso1) and the transcription factor Ste12 which was previously shown to act downstream of Fmk1. Collectively, our results reveal a role of Pro1 in integrating the outputs from different signaling pathways of F. oxysporum thereby mediating key developmental decisions in this important fungal pathogen.