Proteomic analysis of Rhizoctonia solani identifies infection-specific, redox associated proteins and insight into adaptation to different plant hosts
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Rhizoctonia solani is an important root infecting pathogen of a range of food staples worldwide including wheat, rice, maize, soybean, potato and others. Conventional resistance breeding strategies are hindered by the absence of tractable genetic resistance in any crop host. Understanding the biology and pathogenicity mechanisms of this fungus is important for addressing these disease issues, however, little is known about how R. solani causes disease. This study capitalises on recent genomic studies by applying mass spectrometry based proteomics to identify soluble, membrane-bound and culture filtrate proteins produced under wheat infection and vegetative growth conditions. Many of the proteins found in the culture filtrate had predicted functions relating to modification of the plant cell wall, a major activity required for pathogenesis on the plant host, including a number found only under infection conditions. Other infection related proteins included a high proportion of proteins with redox associated functions and many novel proteins without functional classification. The majority of infection only proteins tested were confirmed to show transcript up-regulation during infection including a thaumatin which increased susceptibility to R. solani when expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana. In addition, analysis of expression during infection of different plant hosts highlighted how the infection strategy of this broad host range pathogen can be adapted to the particular host being encountered. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002806.
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