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Ubi4 is a polyubiquitin precursor well characterized in yeasts but unexplored in insect mycopathogens. Here, we report that orthologous Ubi4 plays a core role in ubiquitin- and asexual lifestyle-required cellular events in Beauveria bassiana. Deletion of ubi4 led to abolished ubiquitin accumulation, blocked autophagic process, severe defects in conidiation and conidial quality, reduced cell tolerance to oxidative, osmotic, cell wall perturbing and heat-shock stresses, decreased transcript levels of development-activating and antioxidant genes, but light effect on radial growth under normal conditions. The deletion mutant lost insect pathogenicity via normal cuticle infection and was severely compromised in virulence via cuticle-bypassing infection due to a block of dimorphic transition critical for acceleration of host mummification. Proteomic and ubiquitylomic analyses revealed 1081 proteins differentially expressed and 639 lysine residues significantly hyper- or hypo-ubiquitylated in the deletion mutant, including dozens of ubiquitin-activating, conjugating and ligating enzymes, core histones, and many more involved in proteasomes, autophagy-lysosome process and protein degradation. Singular deletions of seven ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme genes exerted differential Ubi4-like effects on conidiation level and conidial traits. These findings uncover an essential role of Ubi4 in ubiquitin transfer cascade and its pleiotropic effects on the in vitro and in vivo asexual cycle of B. bassiana. © 2020 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Ding-Yi Wang, Kang Ren, Sen-Miao Tong, Sheng-Hua Ying, Ming-Guang Feng. Pleiotropic effects of Ubi4, a polyubiquitin precursor required for ubiquitin accumulation, conidiation and pathogenicity of a fungal insect pathogen. Environmental microbiology. 2020 Jul;22(7):2564-2580

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PMID: 32056334

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