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    Chalkbrood disease is caused by Ascosphaera apis which severely affects honeybee brood. Spore inoculation experiments shown pathogenicity varies among different strains and mutants, however, the molecular mechanism of pathogenicity is unclear. We sequenced, assembled and annotated the transcriptomes of wild type (SPE1) and three mutants (SPE2, SPE3 and SPE4) with reduced pathogenicity that were constructed in our previous study. Illumina sequencing generated a total of 394,910,604 clean reads and de novo Trinity-based assembled into 12,989 unigenes, among these, 9,598 genes were successfully annotated to known proteins in UniProt database. A total of 172, 3,996, and 650 genes were up-regulated and 4,403, 2,845, and 3,016 genes were down-regulated between SPE2-SPE1, SPE3-SPE1, and SPE4-SPE1, respectively. Overall, several genes with a potential role in fungal pathogenicity were detected down-regulated in mutants including 100 hydrolytic enzymes, 117 transcriptional factors, and 47 cell wall related genes. KEGG pathway enrichment analysis reveals 216 genes involved in nine pathways were down-regulated in mutants compared to wild type. The down-regulation of more pathways involved in pathogenicity in SPE2 and SPE4 than SPE3 supports their lower pathogenicity during in-vitro bioassay experiment. Expression of 12 down-regulated genes in mutants was validated by quantitative real time PCR. This study provides valuable information on transcriptome variation caused by mutation for further functional validation of candidate pathogenicity genes in A. apis.


    Awraris Getachew, Tessema Aynalem Abejew, Jiangli Wu, Jin Xu, Huimin Yu, Jing Tan, Pengjie Wu, Yangyang Tu, Weipeng Kang, Zheng Wang, Shufa Xu. Transcriptome profiling reveals insertional mutagenesis suppressed the expression of candidate pathogenicity genes in honeybee fungal pathogen, Ascosphaera apis. Scientific reports. 2020 May 05;10(1):7532

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    PMID: 32372055

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