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Chitin-binding proteins override host plant’s resistance to fungal infection ​

8th December 2019

A recent Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions article studies one of these chitin-binding proteins from a soilborne fungus (Verticillium nonalfalfae) that causes vascular wilt in plants. This fungus binds a particular protein (VnaChtBP) to chitin in order to abolish the host plant’s chitin-triggered burst of reactive oxygen species and shield the fungus from being digested by the plant.

The scientists used 3D homology modelling, molecular docking, CD measurements, and a Y2H assay to determine, for the first time, the probable molecular mechanism of chitin-binding to carbohydrate-binding module family 18 (CBM18)-containing fungal effectors. In addition, this research highlights that, apart from the well-studied Avr4 (CBM14) and LysM (CBM50) fungal effectors, which can interfere with plant chitin perception and activation of immune responses, other structurally unrelated fungal effectors with CBM18 domains have evolved with similar function, suggesting a convergent evolution.

Learn more by reading “Chitin-Binding Protein of Verticillium nonalfalfae Disguises Fungus from Plant Chitinases and Suppresses Chitin-Triggered Host Immunity,” which describes the characterization of this protein and determines the probable molecular mechanism of CBM18 chitin-binding fungal effectors.


Story Source:

Materials provided by American Phytopathological SocietyNote: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Helena Volk, Kristina Marton, Marko Flajšman, Sebastjan Radišek, Hui Tian, Ingo Hein, Črtomir Podlipnik, Bart P. H. J. Thomma, Katarina Košmelj, Branka Javornik, Sabina Berne. Chitin-Binding Protein of Verticillium nonalfalfae Disguises Fungus from Plant Chitinases and Suppresses Chitin-Triggered Host ImmunityMolecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 2019; 32 (10): 1378 DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-03-19-0079-R