Colletotrichum lindemuthianum, the causal agent of anthracnose, is responsible for significant damage in the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.). Unraveling the genetic mechanisms involved in the plant/pathogen interaction is a powerful approach for devising efficient methods to control this disease. In the present study, we employed the Restriction Enzyme-Mediated Integration (REMI) methodology to identify the gene slnCl1, encoding a histidine kinase protein, as involved in pathogenicity. The mutant strain, MutCl1, generated by REMI, showed an insertion in the slnCl1 gene, deficiency of the production and melanization of appressoria, as well as the absence of pathogenicity on bean leaves when compared with the wild-type strain. The slnCl1 gene encodes a histidine kinase class IV called SlnCl1 showing identity of 97% and 83% with histidine kinases from Colletotrichum orbiculare and Colletotrichum gloesporioides, respectively. RNA interference was used for silencing the histidine kinase gene and confirm slnCl1 as a pathogenicity factor. Furthermore, we identified four major genes involved in the RNA interference-mediated gene silencing in Colletotrichum spp. and demonstrated the functionality of this process in C. lindemuthianum. Silencing of the EGFP reporter gene and slnCl1 were demonstrated using qPCR. This work reports for the first time the isolation and characterization of a HK in C. lindemuthianum and the occurrence of gene silencing mediated by RNA interference in this organism, demonstrating its potential use in the functional characterization of pathogenicity genes.
Bicalho Nogueira, G., dos Santos, L. V., de Queiroz, C. B., Ribeiro Corrêa, T. L., Pedrozo Menicucci, R., Soares Bazzolli, D. M., … de Queiroz, M. V. (2019). The histidine kinase slnCl1 of Colletotrichum lindemuthianum as a pathogenicity factor against Phaseolus vulgaris L. Microbiological Research, 219, 110–122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micres.2018.10.005