H3K27me3 is vital for fungal development and secondary metabolite gene silencing, and substitutes for the loss of H3K9me3 in the plant pathogen Fusarium proliferatum

Lena Studt, Anna K. Atanasoff-Kardjalieff, Harald Berger, Celine Petersen, Simone Bachleitner, Michael Sulyok, Alica Fischle, Hans Ulrich Humpf, Svetlana Kalinina, Teis Esben Søndergaard

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1 Citationer (Scopus)


Facultative heterochromatin marked by histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) is an important regulatory layer involved in secondary metabolite (SM) gene silencing and crucial for fungal development in the genus Fusarium. While this histone mark is essential in some (e.g., the rice pathogen Fusarium fujikuroi), it appears dispensable in other fusaria. Here, we show that deletion of FpKMT6 is detrimental but not lethal in the plant pathogen Fusarium proliferatum, a member of the Fusarium fujikuroi species complex (FFSC). Loss of FpKmt6 results in aberrant growth, and expression of a large set of previously H3K27me3-silenced genes is accompanied by increased H3K27 acetylation (H3K27ac) and an altered H3K36me3 pattern. Next, H3K9me3 patterns are affected in Δfpkmt6, indicating crosstalk between both heterochromatic marks that became even more obvious in a strain deleted for FpKMT1 encoding the H3K9-specific histone methyltransferase. In Δfpkmt1, all H3K9me3 marks present in the wild-type strain are replaced by H3K27me3, a finding that may explain the subtle phenotype of the Δfpkmt1 strain which stands in marked contrast to other filamentous fungi. A large proportion of SM-encoding genes is allocated with H3K27me3 in the wild-type strain and loss of H3K27me3 results in elevated expression of 49% of them. Interestingly, genes involved in the biosynthesis of the phytohormones gibberellins (GA) are among the most upregulated genes in Δfpkmt6. Although several FFSC members harbor GA biosynthetic genes, its production is largely restricted to F. fujikuroi, possibly outlining the distinct lifestyles of these notorious plant pathogens. We show that H3K27me3 is involved in GA gene silencing in F. proliferatum and at least one additional FFSC member, and thus, may serve as a regulatory layer for gene silencing under non-favoring conditions.

TidsskriftPLOS Genetics
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - 20 jan. 2024

Bibliografisk note

Copyright: © 2024 Studt-Reinhold et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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