What is it about?

The fungus Verticillium dahliae can cause disease in many valuable crops worldwide. Highly resistant dormant structures of V. dahliae remain viable in the soil for many years. The fungus enters its host plants through the roots and then spreads throughout the plant via the water conducting system, causing the plant to wilt. Our publication shows that a fungal virulence factor (Elv1) and a regulatory protein (Mtf1) contribute to plant disease development. In addition, Mtf1 initiates the formation of dormant structures that allow the fungus to survive in the soil and later reinfect host plants. The two factors studied belong to the genetic network of the regulatory protein Vta3.

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Why is it important?

Infection of plants by the fungus V. dahliae causes huge yield losses in crop production. A better understanding of the genes the fungus needs to grow in and feed on the plant can help us develop new strategies to combat the spread of the fungus in fields.


Thanks to the cooperation with many nice colleagues, the work on this article was great fun. We hope that our research will help to better understand the biology of pathogenic fungi and provide a basis for the development of effective plant protection measures.

Isabel Maurus
Georg-August-Universitat Gottingen

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Verticillium dahliae Vta3 promotes ELV1 virulence factor gene expression in xylem sap, but tames Mtf1-mediated late stages of fungus-plant interactions and microsclerotia formation, PLoS Pathogens, January 2023, PLOS, DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1011100.
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