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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00530

Set3 is required for asexual development, aflatoxin biosynthesis and fungal virulence in Aspergillus flavus

 Huahui Lan1, Lianghuan Wu1, Kun Fan1, Ruilin Sun1, Guang Yang1, Feng Zhang1,  Kunlong Yang1, 2, Xiaolu Lin1, Yanhong Chen1,  Jun Tian2 and  Shihua Wang1*
  • 1Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, China
  • 2Jiangsu Normal University, China

Aspergillus flavus is an opportunistic pathogenic fungus both for plant and animal that produces carcinogenic toxins termed aflatoxins (AFs). AFs are highly detrimental to animal and human health. To identify possible genetic targets to reduce AFs contamination, in this study, we have characterized a novel A. flavus Set3, sharing sequence homology with the yeast protein Set3. The set3 deletion mutants presented no difference in growth rate but alterations in asexual development and secondary metabolism compared with the wild-type A. flavus. Specifically, deletion of set3 gene decreased conidiophores formation and conidial production through down-regulating brlA and abaA genes expression. In addition, normal levels of set3 were required for sclerotial development and expression of sclerotia-related genes nsdC and sclR. Further analyses demonstrated that Set3 negatively regulated AFs production as well as the concomitant expression of genes in the AFs gene cluster. Importantly, our results also displayed that A. flavus Set3 was involved in regulation of pathogenicity to seeds. Taking together, these results revealed that a novel Set3 played crucial roles in morphological development, secondary metabolism and pathogenicity in A. flavus.

Keywords: Set3, Regulate, aflatoxins biosynthesis, Aspergillus flavus, development

Received: 07 Nov 2018; Accepted: 01 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Weiguo Fang, Zhejiang University, China

Reviewed by:

Maureen Wright, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, United States
Massimo Reverberi, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy  

Copyright: © 2019 Lan, Wu, Fan, Sun, Yang, Zhang, Yang, Lin, Chen, Tian and Wang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Shihua Wang, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, 350002, Fujian Province, China, wshyyl@sina.com