Transcriptional analysis of the dimorphic fungus Umbilicaria muehlenbergii reveals the molecular mechanism of phenotypic transition

Fan D., Liu L., Cao S., Liao R., Liu C. & Zhou Q.
World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology
39: 170 [14 p.]
The lichen-forming fungus Umbilicaria muehlenbergii undergoes a phenotypic transition from a yeast-like to a pseudohyphal form. However, it remains unknown if a common mechanism is involved in the phenotypic switch of U. muehlenbergii at the transcriptional level. Further, investigation of the phenotype switch molecular mechanism in U. muehlenbergii has been hindered by incomplete genomic sequencing data. Here, the phenotypic characteristics of U. muehlenbergii were investigated after cultivation on several carbon sources, revealing that oligotrophic conditions due to nutrient stress (reduced strength PDA (potato dextrose agar) media) exacerbated the pseudohyphal growth of U. muehlenbergii. Further, the addition of sorbitol, ribitol, and mannitol exacerbated the pseudohyphal growth of U. muehlenbergii regardless of PDA medium strength. Transcriptome analysis of U. muehlenbergii grown in normal and nutrient-stress conditions revealed the presence of several biological pathways with altered expression levels during nutrient stress and related to carbohydrate, protein, DNA/RNA and lipid metabolism. Further, the results demonstrated that altered biological pathways can cooperate during pseudohyphal growth, including pathways involved in the production of protectants, acquisition of other carbon sources, or adjustment of energy metabolism. Synergistic changes in the functioning of these pathways likely help U. muehlenbergii cope with dynamic stimuli. These results provide insights into the transcriptional response of U. muehlenbergii during pseudohyphal growth under oligotrophic conditions. Specifically, the transcriptomic analysis indicated that pseudohyphal growth is an adaptive mechanism of U. muehlenbergii that facilitates its use of alternative carbon sources to maintain survival. Keywords: Filamentous growth · Next-generation sequencing · Pseudohyphea · Transcriptome.
Monday, 22 May 2023 23:08