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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2019, Vol. 18 Issue (5): 1024-1034    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(18)62109-4
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The autophagy gene ATG8 affects morphogenesis and oxidative stress tolerance in Sporisorium scitamineum
ZHANG Bin1, CUI Guo-bing1, CHANG Chang-qing2, WANG Yi-xu2, ZHANG Hao-yang1, CHEN Bao-shan3, DENG Yi-zhen1, 2, JIANG Zi-de1 
1 Department of Plant Pathology/State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-Bioresources, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, P.R.China
2 Integrative Microbiology Research Centre/Guangdong Province Key Laboratory of Microbial Signals and Disease Control, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, P.R.China
3 College of Life Science and Technology/State Key Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Subtropical Agro-Bioresources, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, P.R.China
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Abstract  The basidiomycetous fungus Sporisorium scitamineum causes sugarcane smut that leads to severe economic losses in the major sugarcane growing areas in China, India and Brazil, etc.  Autophagy is a conserved pathway in eukaryotes for bulk degradation and cellular recycling, and was shown to be important for fungal cell growth, development, and pathogenicity.  However, physiological function of autophagy has not been studied in S. scitamineum.  In this study, we identified a conserved Atg8 protein, named as SsAtg8 and characterized its function. Our results showed that autophagy was blocked in the ssatg8Δ mutant, in nitrogen starvation.  The ssatg8Δ mutant formed pseudohypha frequently and was hypersensitive to oxidative stress.  However, mating or filamenation was unaffected in the ssatg8Δ mutant in vitro.  Overall we demonstrate that autophagy is dispensable for S. scitamineum mating/filamentation, while critical for oxidative stress tolerance and proper morphology in sporidial stage.   
Keywords:  Atg8        autophagy        fungus        Sporisorium scitamineum        morphogenesis        oxidative stress tolerance  
Received: 25 July 2018   Accepted:
Fund: This research was supported by the National 973 Program of China (2015CB150600) and the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, China (2017A030310144).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence JIANG Zi-de, Tel: +86-20-38604779, E-mail:; DENG Yi-zhen, Tel: +86-20-38348651, E-mail:   

Cite this article: 

ZHANG Bin, CUI Guo-bing, CHANG Chang-qing, WANG Yi-xu, ZHANG Hao-yang, CHEN Bao-shan, DENG Yi-zhen, JIANG Zi-de. 2019. The autophagy gene ATG8 affects morphogenesis and oxidative stress tolerance in Sporisorium scitamineum. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 18(5): 1024-1034.

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