IJMS, Vol. 23, Pages 9015: MoDHX35, a DEAH-Box Protein, Is Required for Appressoria Formation and Full Virulence of the Rice Blast Fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
The DExD/H-box protein family encompasses a large number of RNA helicases that are involved in RNA metabolism and a variety of physiological functions in different species. However, there is limited knowledge of whether DExD/H-box proteins play a role in the pathogenicity of plant fungal pathogens. In the present work, the DExD/H-box protein MoDHX35, which belongs to the DEAH subfamily, was shown to be crucial in appressoria formation and full virulence of the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae. The predicted protein sequence of MoDHX35 had typical DEAH-box domains, showed 47% identity to DHX35 in Homo species, but had no orthologs in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Deletion of the MoDHX35 gene resulted in reduced tolerance of the mutants to doxorubicin, a nucleic acid synthesis disturbing agent, suggesting the involvement of MoDHX35 in RNA metabolism. MoDHX35-deleted mutants exhibited normal vegetative growth, conidia generation and conidial germination, but showed a reduced appressorium formation rate and attenuated virulence. Our work demonstrates the involvement of DEAH-box protein functions in the pathogenicity of plant fungal pathogens.