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Shoolini research identifies gene associated with fungal pathogen, published in Journal of Basic Microbiology

Shoolini research identifies gene associated with fungal pathogen, published in Journal of Basic Microbiology

If crops are not protected against pathogen attacks, a severe famine isn’t far from reality.A dedicated team of researchers from the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology at Shoolini University is working towards avoiding food crisis in a manner that it can help crops in all regions of the world. In the latest research, they have discovered a gene that influences growth of the Colletotrichumgloeosporioidespathogen in plants.

Publication

The study was published in Journal of Basic Microbiology and was titled ‘Diacylglyceol acyl transferase: A pathogenicity related gene in Colletotrichumgloeosporioides’. Meenakshi Sharma, Shiwani Guleria and SaurabhKulshreshtha were the researchers behind this study.They tried to create a REMI-based mutant library of C. gloeosporioides and to identify more genes associated with pathogenicity of C. gloeosporioides in leaves and fruits of various plant species.

Basis of research

Restriction enzyme-mediated integration (REMI) was used to enhance the understanding into molecular mechanism of Colletotrichumgloeosporioides pathogenesis. REMI is a method that transforms non-homologues linearized DNA into host genome by in-vivo action of restriction enzymes. On the other hand, Colletotrichumgloeosporioides is a filamentous ascomycete, a ubiquitous plant pathogen that infects from monocotyledons to higher dicotyledons and attacks the fruit to cause pre and post-harvest losses.

Outcome of research

REMI helped identify mutants of C. gloeosporioides impaired in pathogenicity. In addition, researchers also screenedtransformants for defects in pathogenicity using detached leaves and fruits. Two (H4 & H7) of 20 REMI transformants tested showed reduced pathogenicity on the leaves of apple,kiwi,mango, peach, guava, apple and capsicum. Moreover, tagging of diacylglycerolacyltransferasein mutant H4 resulted in reduced pathogenicity, indicating the possible role of this gene in pathogenicity of C. gloeosporioides.

Conducted in Molecular Plant Microbe Interaction Lab (MPMI) headed by Prof. SaurabhKulshrestha from the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Biotechnology, the research findingidentifiesdiacyglycerol acyl transferase gene as potential pathogenicity gene from Colletotrichumgloeosporioides. Once the research finding is confirmed, the gene can be targeted and inhibitors can identified from nature to be used as bio fungicides in future.

Epilogue

Plant pathogens adversely affect crops, thus resulting in reduced yield. Apart from that, plant pathogens cause rotting of agricultural produce even after harvesting. Sadly,the Colletotrichumgloeosporioides is one such fungal pathogen. Genes are believed to be instrumental to this process of infection. To understand this course of infection, it is important identify responsible genes.