Research ArticleMICROBIOLOGY

Coordinated regulation of infection-related morphogenesis by the KMT2-Cre1-Hyd4 regulatory pathway to facilitate fungal infection

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  25 Mar 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 13, eaaz1659
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz1659


Entomopathogenic fungi can overcome insecticide resistance and represent promising tools for the control of mosquitoes. Better understanding of fungus-mosquito interactions is critical for improvement of fungal efficacy. Upon insect cuticle induction, pathogenic fungi undergo marked infection-related morphological differentiation. However, regulatory mechanisms of fungal infection–related morphogenesis are poorly understood. Here, we show that a histone lysine methyltransferase KMT2 in Metarhizium robertsii (MrKMT2) is up-regulated upon cuticle induction. MrKMT2 plays crucial roles in regulating infection-related morphogenesis and pathogenicity by up-regulating the transcription factor gene Mrcre1 via H3K4 trimethylation during mosquito cuticle infection. MrCre1 further regulates the cuticle-induced gene Mrhyd4 to modulate infection structure (appressorium) formation and virulence. Overall, the MrKMT2-MrCre1-MrHyd4 regulatory pathway regulates infection-related morphogenesis and pathogenicity in M. robertsii. These findings reveal that the epigenetic regulatory mechanism plays a pivotal role in regulating fungal pathogenesis in insects, and provide new insights into molecular interactions between pathogenic fungi and insect hosts.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances