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      Natural diversity in the predatory behavior facilitates the establishment of a robust model strain for nematode-trapping fungi

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          Abstract

          Nematode-trapping fungi (NTF) are a group of specialized microbial predators that consume nematodes when food sources are limited. Predation is initiated when conserved nematode ascaroside pheromones are sensed, followed by the development of complex trapping devices. To gain insights into the coevolution of this interkingdom predator–prey relationship, we investigated natural populations of nematodes and NTF that we found to be ubiquitous in soils. Arthrobotrysspecies were sympatric with various nematode species and behaved as generalist predators. The ability to sense prey among wild isolates of Arthrobotrys oligosporavaried greatly, as determined by the number of traps after exposure to Caenorhabditis elegans. While some strains were highly sensitive to C. elegansand the nematode pheromone ascarosides, others responded only weakly. Furthermore, strains that were highly sensitive to the nematode prey also developed traps faster. The polymorphic nature of trap formation correlated with competency in prey killing, as well as with the phylogeny of A. oligosporanatural strains, calculated after assembly and annotation of the genomes of 20 isolates. A chromosome-level genome assembly and annotation were established for one of the most sensitive wild isolates, and deletion of the only G-protein β-subunit–encoding gene of A. oligosporanearly abolished trap formation. In summary, our study establishes a highly responsive A. oligosporawild isolate as a model strain for the study of fungus–nematode interactions and demonstrates that trap formation is a fitness character in generalist predators of the nematode-trapping fungus family.

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          Fusion PCR and gene targeting in Aspergillus nidulans.

          We describe a rapid method for the production of fusion PCR products that can be used, generally without band purification, to transform Aspergillus nidulans. This technique can be used to replace genes; tag genes with fluorescent moeties or epitope tags; or replace endogenous promoters with regulatable promoters, by introducing an appropriate selective cassette (e.g., fluorescent protein + selectable marker). The relevant genomic fragments and cassette are first amplified separately by PCR using primers that produce overlapping ends. A second PCR using 'nested' primers fuses the fragments into a single molecule with all sequences in the desired order. This procedure allows a cassette to be amplified once, frozen and used subsequently in many fusion PCRs. Transformation of nonhomologous recombination deficient (nkuADelta) strains of A. nidulans with fusion PCR products results in high frequencies of accurate gene targeting. Fusion PCR takes less than 2 d. Protoplast formation and transformation takes less than 1 d.
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            The natural history of Caenorhabditis elegans.

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              Signal transduction cascades regulating fungal development and virulence.

              Cellular differentiation, mating, and filamentous growth are regulated in many fungi by environmental and nutritional signals. For example, in response to nitrogen limitation, diploid cells of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae undergo a dimorphic transition to filamentous growth referred to as pseudohyphal differentiation. Yeast filamentous growth is regulated, in part, by two conserved signal transduction cascades: a mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade and a G-protein regulated cyclic AMP signaling pathway. Related signaling cascades play an analogous role in regulating mating and virulence in the plant fungal pathogen Ustilago maydis and the human fungal pathogens Cryptococcus neoformans and Candida albicans. We review here studies on the signaling cascades that regulate development of these and other fungi. This analysis illustrates both how the model yeast S. cerevisiae can serve as a paradigm for signaling in other organisms and also how studies in other fungi provide insights into conserved signaling pathways that operate in many divergent organisms.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                Proc Natl Acad Sci USA
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
                0027-8424
                1091-6490
                March 24 2020
                March 24 2020
                March 24 2020
                March 11 2020
                : 117
                : 12
                : 6762-6770
                Article
                10.1073/pnas.1919726117
                7104180
                32161129
                2b46e554-bfea-49d1-a0f1-f3b6e33e4812
                © 2020

                Free to read

                https://www.pnas.org/site/aboutpnas/licenses.xhtml

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