Fusarium virguliforme transcriptional plasticity is revealed by host colonization of maize versus soybean

Amy Baetsen-Young, Ching Man Wai, Robert VanBuren, Brad Day*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We exploited the broad host range of Fusarium virguliforme to identify differential fungal responses leading to either an endophytic or a pathogenic lifestyle during colonization of maize (Zea mays) and soybean (Glycine max), respectively. To provide a foundation to survey the transcriptomic landscape, we produced an improved de novo genome assembly and annotation of F. virguliforme using PacBio sequencing. Next, we conducted a high-resolution time course of F. virguliforme colonization and infection of both soybean, a symptomatic host, and maize, an asymptomatic host. Comparative transcriptomic analyses uncovered a nearly complete network rewiring, with less than 8% average gene coexpression module overlap upon colonizing the different plant hosts. Divergence of transcriptomes originating from host specific temporal induction genes is central to infection and colonization, including carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) and necrosis inducing effectors. Upregulation of Zn(II)-Cys6 transcription factors were uniquely induced in soybean at 2 d postinoculation, suggestive of enhanced pathogen virulence on soybean. In total, the data described herein suggest that F. virguliforme modulates divergent infection profiles through transcriptional plasticity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)336-351
Number of pages16
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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