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    Our study aimed to better understand the different thermal adaptation in Mucor irregularis (M. irregularis) strains under high temperature and the involved virulence-related genes, and to offer more appropriate explanation for the diverse pathogenicity of M. irregularis in human infections. M. irregularis isolates were incubated at 30 and 35°C for Illumina HiSeq technology (RNA-seq), as well as the virulence difference detected through Galleria mellonella infection models. We verified their transcriptional profile with RT-PCR and analysed differentially expressed genes with GO and KEGG annotations. All 25 isolates formed the biggest colonies at 28°C and did not grow at 37°C, while were differently inhibited at 22 and 35°C. Six selected M. irregularis displayed virulence in sync with their growth condition at high temperature. From the outcomes of RNA-seq, a total of 1559 differentially expressed genes (FC ≥ 2, FDR < 0.05) were obtained, of which 1021 genes were upregulated, and 538 genes were downregulated. Cell wall structure genes related to Ras-like and GH16 proteins, influx-efflux pumps consist of transmembrane proteins as ABC and MFS proteins, and metabolic genes as DGKɛ and Hsfs, seem to be essential in thermal adaptation and virulence of M. irregularis. We found some common genes expressed at high temperature, while some others specifically related to M. irregularis isolates with different virulence and thermal adaptation. Further research of genes involved in the pathogenic process is needed for the development of potential targeted antifungal. © 2021 Wiley-VCH GmbH.


    Meijie Zhang, Guanzhao Liang, Jiacheng Dong, Hailin Zheng, Huan Mei, Fuxing Zha, Weida Liu. A thermal adaptation landscape related to virulence in Mucor irregularis transcriptional profiles. Mycoses. 2022 Mar;65(3):374-387

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    PMID: 34779032

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