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Characterisation of the interaction between Verticillium fungicola and Agaricus bisporus - HH3220SMU

This project aims to identify changes in gene expression in both the cultivated mushroom, Agaricus bisporus,and also the fungal pathogen Verticillium fungicola during infection. Three complementary approaches are being proposed in this project to maximise the likelihood of successfully identifying both pathogen and host genes within the timescale and resource availability of the project. The added complexity of separating the genes from two fungi (rather than a fungal/plant interaction) has been a key element in developing this approach. This investigation will involve production of a cDNA library to A. bisporus infected with V. fungicola. This library will be used to identify genes up-regulated during the infection process and, after separation into either host or pathogen origin will provide potential targets for gene disruption.

Two other lines of investigation have been designed to be complementary approaches for identifying pathogen genes involved in pathogenicity. This will include a) creation of a cDNA library to Verticillium grown on mushroom cell wall material to identify genes up-regulated in the presence of mushroom wall material and b) use of a T-DNA tagging system for gene disruption. Both of these lines of experimentation will yield targets for genes disruption in the pathogen.

Using tranformation technologies developed in previous projects (HH0915SMU and HH1756SMU) key genes involved in pathogenesis and the host response will be targeted for disruption to determine their role in the fungal/fungal interaction.

This work relates to DEFRA’s policy objective ‘to provide robust strategies and methods of disease control suitable for integrated crop and farm management’.

Results from this project will be used as a platform to develop novel approaches for disease control in mushrooms.

1. Identify 20 genes up-regulated in Agaricus bisporus during infection
2. Identify 30 genes involved in pathogenicity of Verticillium fungicola
3. Determine the effect of gene disruption on 3 up-regulated host genes during infection
4. Determine the effect of gene disruption on 6 pathogen genes during infection
5. Present and discuss implications of research to UK mushroom growers

Project Documents
• Final Report : Characterisation of the interaction between Verticillium fungicola and Agaricus bisporus   (274k)
• Final Report : Final report   (274k)
• Final Report - Annex : appendix   (4531k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2006

Cost: £545,418
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Horticulture Research International, Warwick - HRI
Allocated - WHRI              
Disease Control              
Organic Farming              
Sustainable Farming and Food              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study