Regulators of G protein signaling (RGS) proteins make up a highly diverse and multifunctional protein family that plays a critical role in controlling heterotrimeric G protein signaling. In this study, seven RGS genes (FgFlbA, FgFlbB, FgRgsA, FgRgsB, FgRgsB2, FgRgsC, and FgGprK) were functionally characterized in the plant pathogenic fungus, Gibberella zeae. Mutant phenotypes were observed for deletion mutants of FgRgsA and FgRgsB in vegetative growth, FgFlbB and FgRgsB in conidia morphology, FgFlbA in conidia production, FgFlbA, FgRgsB, and FgRgsC in sexual development, FgFlbA and FgRgsA in spore germination and mycotoxin production, and FgFlbA, FgRgsA, and FgRgsB in virulence. Furthermore, FgFlbA, FgRgsA, and FgRgsB acted pleiotropically, while FgFlbB and FgRgsC deletion mutants exhibited a specific defect in conidia morphology and sexual development, respectively. Amino acid substitutions in Gα subunits and overexpression of the FgFlbA gene revealed that deletion of FgFlbA and dominant active GzGPA2 mutant, gzgpa2(Q207L), had similar phenotypes in cell wall integrity, perithecia formation, mycotoxin production, and virulence, suggesting that FgFlbA may regulate asexual/sexual development, mycotoxin biosynthesis, and virulence through GzGPA2-dependent signaling in G. zeae.
Fungal Genetics and Biology 05/2012; 49(7):511-20. DOI:10.1016/j.fgb.2012.05.006 · 3.26 Impact Factor