About this Research Topic
The adaptation of microbial pathogens to the host environment requires the integration of a myriad of signals as well as a tight control of both function and dynamics of transcriptional regulatory networks for an efficient response to the changing host environment. Transcription factors (TFs) are decision-making proteins, because they are able to quickly reprogram the transcriptome, modulate or induce the expression of phenotypic traits and impact on fitness attributes that underlie the commensal and/or pathogenic facets of microbial species. Many TFs have been characterized in fungal species that can cause disease in humans, animals and plants. In the current era of functional genomics and systems biology, an integrative approach is necessary to map with precision the function and dynamics of TF networks in pathogenic fungi and provide a bird’s eye view of the mechanisms and pathways operating during the expression of their pathogenicity and virulence traits. For instance, many technologies for mapping the genome-wide location and function of TFs as well as the associated changes in gene expression at the whole genome scale together with computational approaches that mine/translate the wealth of data generated by such technologies allow to better characterize TF function, define the transcriptional regulatory interactions occurring between TFs and target genes, construct transcriptional networks and further appraise their complexity, dynamics and importance during host-fungal interactions.
This research topic will feature a compilation of Original Research articles, Brief Research Reports, Methods, Reviews, Mini-reviews and Opinion or Perspective articles that contribute to our better understanding of transcriptional regulation and TF function through the use of functional genomics in fungal pathogens and the assessment of the dynamics of TF regulatory networks during the interaction of pathogenic fungi with the host environment (or conditions mimicking the host environment). We believe that the content of this research topic will contribute to better resolving the global landscape of fungal transcriptional circuits and assessing their contribution to the armamentarium of virulence mechanisms used by fungi to thrive in their host niches. We more specifically welcome contributions to the following fields:
• Systems biology and functional genomics of transcriptional regulation in fungal pathogens of humans, animals and/or plants.
• TF functional analyses in pathogenic fungi with medical, environmental and/or agricultural importance using top-down approaches (e.g. ChIP-Seq, transcriptomics, etc.).
• Evolution of TF function in fungal pathogens with approaches that use non-pathogenic fungal species for comparative analyses (e.g. studies of TFs in pathogenic and non-pathogenic fungi to understand the evolution of transcriptional networks).
• Development of novel methods, technologies and algorithms/computational approaches addressing transcriptional regulation/TF function in fungal pathogens on a large-scale basis.
• Review articles addressing recent developments in the field of host-fungal pathogen interactions with a focus on TFs or transcriptional regulation.
• Perspective and opinion articles addressing functional genomics of TFs in pathogenic fungi.
Keywords: Functional Genomics, Transcriptional Regulatory Networks, Transcription Factors, Host-Fungal Interactions, Sensing/Response to Host-Environment
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