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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2022, Vol. 21 Issue (8): 2319-2328    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(21)63863-7
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Involvement of the autophagy-related gene BdATG8 in development and pathogenicity in Botryosphaeria dothidea
LIU Na, LIAN Sen, ZHOU Shan-yue, WANG Cai-xia, REN Wei-chao, LI Bao-hua
College of Plant Health and Medicine, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao 266109, P.R.China
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Botryosphaeria dothidea is a destructive fungal pathogen that causes Botryosphaeria canker and fruit ring rot on apple worldwide.  Autophagy is a process of self-degradation that maintains intracellular homeostasis via lysosomal pathway.  To date, the biological role of autophagy in B. dothidea remains unknown.  In this study, we identified and characterized the autophagy-related gene BdATG8 in B. dothidea.  BdATG8 was able to restore the defect in nitrogen starvation tolerance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae ATG8 deletion mutant.  GFP-BdAtg8 was shown to be a useful marker for monitoring autophagy in B. dothidea.  Target deletion of BdATG8 (ΔBdAtg8) blocked autophagy and significantly impaired mycelial growth, conidiation and perithecium formation.  In addition, ΔBdAtg8 showed significantly increased sensitivity to phytoalexin and oxidative stress, suggesting that BdATG8 plays critical roles in overcoming phytoalexin and reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated plant immunity.  Pathogenicity assays revealed that ΔBdAtg8 almost lost ability to infect hosts.  Overall, our results indicate that BdATG8 plays an important role in fungal development, stress responses and pathogenesis in B. dothidea.

Keywords:  Botryosphaeria dothidea        autophagy        BdATG8        development        pathogenicity  
Received: 06 August 2021   Accepted: 11 November 2021
Fund: This work was supported by the China Agriculture Research System of MOF and MARA (CARS-27), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (32001937) and the Scientific Research Fund for High-level Talents in Qingdao Agricultural University, China (665/1120060).

About author:  LIU Na, E-mail:; Correspondence REN Wei-chao, E-mail:; LI Bao-hua, E-mail:

Cite this article: 

LIU Na, LIAN Sen, ZHOU Shan-yue, WANG Cai-xia, REN Wei-chao, LI Bao-hua. 2022. Involvement of the autophagy-related gene BdATG8 in development and pathogenicity in Botryosphaeria dothidea. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 21(8): 2319-2328.

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