Mutations to LmIFRD affect cell wall integrity, development and pathogenicity of the ascomycete Leptosphaeria maculans Academic Article uri icon


  • Maintaining cell wall integrity is essential for fungal growth and development. We describe two mutants with altered expression of a gene, LmIFRD, from the ascomycete Leptosphaeria maculans. Truncation of the LmIFRD transcript in a T-DNA insertional mutant led to slower germination, less sporulation and loss-of-pathogenicity towards Brassica napus, whereas silencing of the LmIFRD transcript led to increased germination, sporulation and earlier infection. The increased tolerance to cell wall lysing enzymes and cell wall-disrupting compounds of the T-DNA mutant contrasts with decreased tolerance of the silenced mutant and suggests altered cell wall integrity and accessibility to 1,3-linked glucan and chitin. Lectin binding experiments and monosaccharide analysis revealed altered polysaccharide content and structure within the cell wall of the LmIFRD mutants, notably increased 1,3-linked galactose and chitin within the cell wall of the T-DNA mutant. This is the first analysis of monosaccharide linkage composition of cell walls of spores and mycelia for any dothideomycete.

publication date

  • September 2009