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    Catalase is present in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms and is important for the protective effects of the antioxidant system against free radicals. Many studies have confirmed that catalase is required for the growth, development, and pathogenesis of bacteria, plants, animals, and fungi. However, there has been relatively little research on the catalases in oomycetes, which form an important group of fungus-like eukaryotes that produce zoosporangia. In this study, we detected two Phytophthora infestans genes encoding catalases, but only PiCAT2 exhibited catalase activity in the sporulation stage and was highly produced during asexual reproduction and in the late infection stage. Compared with the wild-type strain, the PiCAT2-silenced P. infestans transformants were more sensitive to abiotic stress, were less pathogenic, and had a lower colony expansion rate and lower PiMPK7, PiVPS1, and PiGPG1 expression levels. In contrast, the PiCAT2-overexpressed transformants were slightly less sensitive to abiotic stress. Interestingly, increasing and decreasing PiCAT2 expression from the normal level inhibited sporulation, germination, and infectivity, and down-regulated PiCdc14 expression, but up-regulated PiSDA1 expression. These results suggest that PiCAT2 is required for P. infestans mycelial growth, asexual reproduction, abiotic stress tolerance, and pathogenicity. However, a proper PiCAT2 level is critical for the formation and normal function of sporangia. Furthermore, PiCAT2 affects P. infestans sporangial formation and function, pathogenicity, and abiotic stress tolerance by regulating the expression of cell cycle-related genes (PiCdc14 and PiSDA1) and MAPK pathway genes. Our findings provide new insights into catalase functions in eukaryotic pathogens. © 2020 The Authors. Molecular Plant Pathology published by British Society for Plant Pathology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


    Tu-Hong Wang, Xiao-Wen Wang, Xiao-Qiong Zhu, Qun He, Li-Yun Guo. A proper PiCAT2 level is critical for sporulation, sporangium function, and pathogenicity of Phytophthora infestans. Molecular plant pathology. 2020 Apr;21(4):460-474

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    PMID: 31997544

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