Plant defensins NaD1 and NaD2 induce different stress response pathways in fungi

Peter M. Dracatos, Jennifer Payne, Antonio Di Pietro, Marilyn A. Anderson, Kim M. Plummer

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Nicotiana alata defensins 1 and 2 (NaD1 and NaD2) are plant defensins from the ornamental tobacco that have antifungal activity against a variety of fungal pathogens. Some plant defensins interact with fungal cell wall O-glycosylated proteins. Therefore, we investigated if this was the case for NaD1 and NaD2, by assessing the sensitivity of the three Aspergillus nidulans (An) O-mannosyltransferase (pmt) knockout (KO) mutants (AnΔpmtA, AnΔpmtB, and AnΔpmtC). AnΔpmtA was resistant to both defensins, while AnΔpmtC was resistant to NaD2 only, suggesting NaD1 and NaD2 are unlikely to have a general interaction with O-linked side chains. Further evidence of this difference in the antifungal mechanism was provided by the dissimilarity of the NaD1 and NaD2 sensitivities of the Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (Fol) signalling knockout mutants from the cell wall integrity (CWI) and high osmolarity glycerol (HOG) mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways. HOG pathway mutants were sensitive to both NaD1 and NaD2, while CWI pathway mutants only displayed sensitivity to NaD2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1473
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Antifungal defensins
  • CWI signalling pathway
  • HOG signalling pathway
  • NaD1 and NaD2

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