Tryptamine accumulation caused by deletion of MrMao-1 in Metarhizium genome significantly enhances insecticidal virulence

Autoři: Xiwen Tong aff001;  Yundan Wang aff001;  Pengcheng Yang aff003;  Chengshu Wang aff004;  Le Kang aff001
Působiště autorů: State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management of Pest Insects and Rodents, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China aff001;  University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China aff002;  Beijing Institutes of Life Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China aff003;  Key Laboratory of Insect Developmental and Evolutionary Biology, Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: Tryptamine accumulation caused by deletion of MrMao-1 in Metarhizium genome significantly enhances insecticidal virulence. PLoS Genet 16(4): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1008675
Kategorie: Research Article


Metarhizium is a group of insect-pathogenic fungi that can produce insecticidal metabolites, such as destruxins. Interestingly, the acridid-specific fungus Metarhizium acridum (MAC) can kill locusts faster than the generalist fungus Metarhizium robertsii (MAA) even without destruxin. However, the underlying mechanisms of different pathogenesis between host-generalist and host-specialist fungi remain unknown. This study compared transcriptomes and metabolite profiles to analyze the difference in responsiveness of locusts to MAA and MAC infections. Results confirmed that the detoxification and tryptamine catabolic pathways were significantly enriched in locusts after MAC infection compared with MAA infection and that high levels of tryptamine could kill locusts. Furthermore, tryptamine was found to be capable of activating the aryl hydrocarbon receptor of locusts (LmAhR) to produce damaging effects by inducing reactive oxygen species production and immune suppression. Therefore, reducing LmAhR expression by RNAi or inhibitor (SR1) attenuates the lethal effects of tryptamine on locusts. In addition, MAA, not MAC, possessed the monoamine oxidase (Mao) genes in tryptamine catabolism. Hence, deleting MrMao-1 could increase the virulence of generalist MAA on locusts and other insects. Therefore, our study provides a rather feasible way to design novel mycoinsecticides by deleting a gene instead of introducing any exogenous gene or domain.

Klíčová slova:

Fats – Fungal genetics – Fungi – Gene expression – Insects – Locusts – Metarhizium – Virulence factors


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