Fungal genotype determines survival of Drosophila melanogaster when competing with Aspergillus nidulans.

Goldman, Gustavo Henrique, Regulin, Annika and Kempken, Frank (2018) Fungal genotype determines survival of Drosophila melanogaster when competing with Aspergillus nidulans. Open Access PLOS ONE, 13 (1). e0190543. DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0190543.

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Fungi produce an astonishing variety of secondary metabolites, some of which belong to the most toxic compounds in the living world. Several fungal metabolites have anti-insecticidal properties which may yield advantages to the fungus in competition with insects for exploitation of environmental resources. Using the Drosophila melanogaster/Aspergillus nidulans ecological model system to assess secondary metabolite mutant genotypes, we find a major role for the veA allele in insect/fungal confrontations that exceeds the influence of other factors such as LaeA. VeA along with LaeA is a member of a transcriptional complex governing secondary metabolism in A. nidulans. However, historically a mutant veA allele, veA1 reduced in secondary metabolite output, has been used in many studies of this model organism. To test the significance of this allele in our system, Aspergillus nidulans veA wild type, veA1, ΔveA and ΔlaeA were evaluated in confrontation assays to analyze egg laying activity, and the survival rate of larvae. The veA1 genetic background led to a significant increase of larval survival. Adult flies were observed almost exclusively on veA1, ΔveA or ΔlaeA genetic backgrounds, suggesting a role for the velvet complex in insect/fungal interactions. This effect was most profound using the veA1 mutant. Hence, larval survival in confrontations is highly affected by the fungal genotype.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1371/journal.pone.0190543
ISSN: 1932-6203
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2018 09:57
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2019 11:12

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