Tilletia indica incites Karnal bunt (KB) disease in wheat. To date, no KB resistant wheat cultivar could be developed due to non-availability of potential biomarkers related to pathogenicity/virulence for screening of resistant wheat genotypes. The present study was carried out to compare the proteomes of T. indica highly (TiK) and low (TiP) virulent isolates. Twenty one protein spots consistently observed as up-regulated/differential in the TiK proteome were selected for identification by MALDI-TOF/TOF. Identified sequences showed homology with fungal proteins playing essential role in plant infection and pathogen survival, including stress response, adhesion, fungal penetration, invasion, colonization, degradation of host cell wall, signal transduction pathway. These results were integrated with T. indica genome sequence for identification of homologs of candidate pathogenicity/virulence related proteins. Protein identified in TiK isolate as malate dehydrogenase that converts malate to oxaloacetate which is precursor of oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is key pathogenicity factor in phytopathogenic fungi. These results were validated by GC-MS based metabolic profiling of T. indica isolates indicating that oxalic acid was exclusively identified in TiK isolate. Thus, integrated omics approaches leads to identification of pathogenicity/virulence factor(s) that would provide insights into pathogenic mechanisms of fungi and aid in devising effective disease management strategies.
Journal: Scientific reports