The Cryphonectria parasitica plasmid pUG1 contains a large ORF with motifs characteristic of family B DNA polymerases.
ABSTRACT: The isolation and characterization of the circular mitochondrial plasmid pUG1 from the ascomycete Cryphonectria parasitica is described. The entire sequence (4182 bp) was obtained and high similarities to DNA-dependent DNA polymerases were revealed. Strikingly common features with the DNA polymerases encoded by the Neurospora intermedia plasmids Fiji and LaBelle, such as matches to the conserved motifs A and B and the presence of TTD instead of DTD in motif C, were found, suggesting the existence of a distinct group of members of the B DNA family polymerases. These strong similarities between the plasmids might suggest a common origin of the C.parasitica and the Neurospora plasmids.
Project description:We have determined the DNA sequence of the mitochondrial plasmid from Neurospora intermedia strain Fiji N6-6. The plasmid contains a 1278-codon open reading frame that is 49% identical to the open reading frame of the mitochondrial plasmid from the LaBelle strain of N. intermedia, which is known to encode a DNA-dependent DNA polymerase. The results of polymerase assays and photolabeling studies, the high degree of identity with the LaBelle plasmid polymerase, and the observation that the Fiji polymerase activity in a reaction utilizing endogenous template is not affected by removal of RNA suggest that the Fiji plasmid also encodes a DNA-dependent DNA polymerase. Comparison of regions of amino acids that are highly conserved in the two plasmid polymerases to family B polymerases reveals good correlates for the three major polymerase motifs and suggests that previously identified motifs characteristic of reverse transcriptase found in the LaBelle sequence are not significant. The polymerases encoded by the Fiji and LaBelle plasmids are unusual in that the amino acid sequence Asp-Thr-Asp, which forms the core of the third motif in family B polymerases, is not present in either Fiji or LaBelle. A version of the motif containing Thr-Thr-Asp exists in both sequences.
Project description:The LaBelle mitochondrial plasmid hybridizes to a small region of the mtDNA of different Neurospora species. Here, we show that the region of homology encompasses 1385 bp of plasmid sequence and 1649 bp of mtDNA sequence. Several findings--that the region of homology is not found in the mtDNAs of other organisms, that it includes the C-terminus of the ORF encoding the plasmid DNA polymerase, and that the ORF sequence in the mtDNA is interrupted by insertions--suggest that the region was part of the plasmid that integrated into mtDNA prior to the divergence of Neurospora species. Since the LaBelle plasmid has been found in only one Neurospora strain, we infer that the plasmid was lost subsequently from most strains. The LaBelle plasmid is transcribed by the host Neurospora mitochondrial RNA polymerase and the major promoter is located upstream of the long ORF, within the region of homology to mtDNA. A promoter used for the transcription of the mitochondrial small rRNA is found at a corresponding position in Neurospora mtDNA and may have been acquired via integration of the plasmid sequence. Our results provide evidence that an autonomous infectious element may contribute to sequences that functionally constitute an organism's mtDNA.
Project description:An inducible RNA-silencing pathway, involving a single Dicer protein, DCL2, and a single Argonaute protein, AGL2, was recently shown to serve as an effective antiviral defense response in the chestnut blight fungus Cryphonectria parasitica. Eukaryotic RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RdRPs) are frequently involved in transcriptional and posttranscriptional gene silencing and antiviral defense. We report here the identification and characterization of four RdRP genes (rdr1-4) in the C. parasitica genome. Sequence relationships with other eukaryotic RdRPs indicated that RDR1 and RDR2 were closely related to QDE-1, an RdRP involved in RNA silencing ("quelling") in Neurospora crassa, whereas RDR3 was more closely related to the meiotic silencing gene SAD-1 in N. crassa. The RdRP domain of RDR4, related to N. crassa RRP-3 of unknown function, was truncated and showed evidence of alternative splicing. Similar to reports for dcl2 and agl2, the expression levels for rdr3 and rdr4 increased after hypovirus CHV-1/EP713 infection, while expression levels of rdr1 and rdr2 were unchanged. The virus-responsive induction patterns for rdr3 and rdr4 were altered in the ?dcl2 and ?agl2 strains, suggesting some level of interaction between rdr3 and rdr4 and the dcl2/agl2 silencing pathway. Single rdr gene knockouts ?rdr1-4, double knockouts ?rdr1/2, ?rdr2/3, ?rdr1/3, and a triple knockout, ?rdr1/2/3, were generated and evaluated for effects on fungal phenotype, the antiviral defense response, viral RNA recombination activity and transposon expression. None of the single or multiple rdr knockout strains displayed any phenotypic differences from the parental strains with or without viral infection or any significant changes in viral RNA accumulation or recombination activity or transposon RNA accumulation, indicating no detectable contribution by the C. parasitica rdr genes to these processes.
Project description:Mutation in CpBck1, an ortholog of the cell wall integrity mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in the chestnut blight fungus Cryphonectria parasitica resulted in a sporadic sectorization as culture proceeded. The progeny from the sectored area maintained the characteristics of the sector, showing a massive morphogenetic change, including robust mycelial growth without differentiation. Epigenetic changes were investigated as the genetic mechanism underlying this sectorization. Quantification of DNA methylation and whole-genome bisulfite sequencing revealed genome-wide DNA methylation of the wild-type at each nucleotide level and changes in DNA methylation of the sectored progeny. Compared to the wild-type, the sectored progeny exhibited marked genome-wide DNA hypomethylation but increased methylation sites. Expression analysis of two DNA methyltransferases, including two representative types of DNA methyltransferase (DNMTase), demonstrated that both were significantly down-regulated in the sectored progeny. However, functional analysis using mutant phenotypes of corresponding DNMTases demonstrated that a mutant of CpDmt1, an ortholog of RID of Neurospora crassa, resulted in the sectored phenotype but the CpDmt2 mutant did not, suggesting that the genetic basis of fungal sectorization is more complex. The present study revealed that a mutation in a signaling pathway component resulted in sectorization accompanied with changes in genome-wide DNA methylation, which suggests that this signal transduction pathway is important for epigenetic control of sectorization via regulation of genes involved in DNA methylation.
Project description:We have determined the DNA sequence of the 4070 base pair mitochondrial plasmid from the Labelle-1b strain of Neurospora intermedia. Analysis of the sequence revealed that the plasmid contains a long open reading frame (ORF) that could encode a protein of up to 1151 amino acids. Codon usage in the long ORF shows no clear relationship to Neurospora mitochondrial genes, nuclear genes, nor to the ORF of a different Neurospora mitochondrial plasmid. The long ORF contains regions of similarity to yeast mitochondrial RNA polymerase as well as blocks of amino acids that are characteristic of reverse transcriptases and the ORFs of certain group II mtDNA introns (Michel and Lang, (1985) Nature 316,641). The plasmid gives rise to specific transcripts, some of which may be unit length, and which carry the information for expression of the long ORF. The genetic organization and content of the plasmid suggest that it is related to mobile genetic elements.
Project description:The prototype hypovirus CHV1-EP713 causes virulence attenuation and severe suppression of asexual sporulation and pigmentation in its host, the chestnut blight fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica. We identified a factor associated with symptom induction in C. parasitica using a transformation of C. parasitica strain EP155 with a full-length cDNA clone from a mild mutant virus strain, Cys(72). This was accomplished by using mutagenesis of the transformant fungal strain TCys(72)-1 by random integration of plasmid pHygR, conferring hygromycin resistance. The mutant, namA (after nami-gata, meaning wave shaped), showed an irregular fungal morphology with reduced conidiation and pigmentation while retaining similar levels of virulence and virus accumulation relative to TCys(72)-1- or Cys(72)-infected strain EP155. However, the colony morphology of virus-cured namA (VC-namA) was indistinguishable from those of EP155 and virus-cured TCys(72)-1 [VC-TCys(72)-1]. The phenotypic difference between VC-namA and VC-TCys(72)-1 was found only when these strains infected with the wild type or certain mutant CHV1-EP713 strains but not when infected with Mycoreovirus 1. Sequence analysis of inverse-PCR-amplified genomic DNA fragments and cDNA identified the insertion site of the mutagenic plasmid in exon 8 of the nam-1 gene. NAM-1, comprising 1,257 amino acids, shows sequence similarities to counterparts from other filamentous fungi and possesses the CorA domain that is conserved in a class of Mg(2+) transporters from prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Complementation assays using the wild-type and mutant alleles and targeted disruption of nam-1 showed that nam-1 with an extension of the pHygR-derived sequence contributed to the altered phenotype in the namA mutant. The molecular mechanism underlying virus-specific fungal symptom modulation in VC-namA is discussed.
Project description:Two linear mitochondrial plasmids called pFOXC1 and pFOXC2 from the fungus Fusarium oxysporum were previously described. DNA sequence comparisons indicated that the derived amino acid sequences of both plasmids exhibit similarity to the reverse transcriptase of the Mauriceville and Varkud plasmids of Neurospora spp. The derived amino acid sequence of pFOXC2 has 51% similarity and 32% identity to the Neurospora reverse transcriptase; sequence similarity was greatest for seven blocks of amino acids that are conserved in reverse transcriptases from a wide range of biological sources. Northern analysis suggests that full-length RNAs corresponding to the plasmids are found in representative isolates.