CWI pathway participated in vegetative growth and pathogenicity through a downstream effector AflRlm1 in Aspergillus flavus
iScience. 2021 Sep 23;24(10):103159. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.103159. eCollection 2021 Oct 22.
The cell wall is an essential dynamic structure for shielding fungus from environmental stress, and its synthesizing and remodeling are regulated by the cell wall integrity (CWI) pathway. Here, we explored the roles of a putative downstream effector AflRlm1 of CWI pathway in Aspergillus flavus. The results showed that AflRlm1 played a positive role in conidia production, sclerotium formation, aflatoxin biosynthesis, and pathogenicity. Furthermore, we provided evidence for the physical connection between AflRlm1 and AflSlt2 and determined the role of AflSlt2 in the phosphorylation of AflRlm1. Then, we discovered the importance of WSCs (cell wall integrity and stress response component) to the CWI signal and the process of AflRlm1 transferring to the nucleus after receiving the signal. Overall, this study clarified the transmission process of CWI signals and proves that the CWI pathway plays a key role in the development of A. flavus and the production of aflatoxin combined with transcriptome data analysis.