The heterothallic ascomycete Fusarium fujikuroi is a notorious rice pathogen causing super-elongation of plants due to the production of terpene-derived gibberellic acids (GAs) that function as natural plant hormones. Additionally, F. fujikuroi is able to produce a variety of polyketide- and non-ribosomal peptide-derived metabolites such as bikaverins, fusarubins and fusarins as well as metabolites from yet unidentified biosynthetic pathways, e.g. moniliformin. The key enzymes needed for their production belong to the family of polyketide synthases (PKSs) and non-ribosomal peptide synthases (NRPSs) that are generally known to be post-translationally modified by a Sfp-type 4′phosphopantetheinyl transferase (PPTase). In this study we provide evidence that the F. fujikuroi Sfp-type PPTase FfPpt1 is essentially involved in lysine biosynthesis and production of bikaverins, fusarubins and fusarins, but not moniliformin as shown by analytical methods. Concomitantly, targeted Ffppt1 deletion mutants reveal an enhancement of terpene-derived metabolites like GAs and volatile substances such as α-acorenol. Pathogenicity assays on rice roots using fluorescent labeled wild-type and Ffppt1 mutant strains indicate that lysine biosynthesis and iron acquisition but not PKS and NRPS metabolism is essential for establishment of primary infections of F. fujikuroi. Additionally, FfPpt1 is involved in conidiation and sexual mating recognition possibly by activating PKS- and/or NRPS-derived metabolites that could act as diffusible signals. Furthermore, the effect on iron acquisition of Ffppt1 mutants led us to identify a previously uncharacterized putative third reductive iron uptake system (FfFtr3/FfFet3) that is closely related to the FtrA/FetC system of A. fumigatus. Functional characterization provides evidence that both proteins are involved in iron acquisition and are liable to transcriptional repression of the homolog of the Aspergillus GATA-type transcription factor SreA under iron-replete conditions. Targeted deletion of the first Fusarium homolog of this GATA-type transcription factor-encoding gene, Ffsre1, strongly indicates its involvement in regulation of iron homeostasis and oxidative stress resistance. © 2012 Wiemann et al.
Wiemann, P., Albermann, S., Niehaus, E. M., Studt, L., von Bargen, K. W., Brock, N. L., … Tudzynski, B. (2012). The Sfp-type 4′-phosphopantetheinyl transferase Ppt1 of Fusarium fujikuroi controls development, secondary metabolism and pathogenicity. PLoS ONE, 7(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0037519