Food Science and Technology Department


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Published in EUKARYOTIC CELL, Feb. 2008, p. 415–424 Vol. 7, No. 2 1535-9778/08 doi:10.1128/EC.00248-07 Copyright © 2008, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.


Cch1, a putative voltage-gated calcium ion channel, was investigated for its role in ascus development in Gibberella zeae. Gene replacement mutants of CCH1 were generated and found to have asci which did not forcibly discharge spores, although morphologically ascus and ascospore development in the majority of asci appeared normal. Additionally, mycelial growth was significantly slower, and sexual development was slightly delayed in the mutant; mutant mycelia showed a distinctive fluffy morphology, and no cirrhi were produced. Wheat infected with Δcch1 mutants developed symptoms comparable to wheat infected with the wild type; however, the mutants showed a reduced ability to protect the infected stalk from colonization by saprobic fungi. Transcriptional analysis of gene expression in mutants using the Affymetrix Fusarium microarray showed 2,449 genes with significant, twofold or greater, changes in transcript abundance across a developmental series. This work extends the role of CCH1 to forcible spore discharge in G. zeae and suggests that this channel has subtle effects on growth and development.

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