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Insects defend against fungal infection by employing microRNAs to silence virulence-related genes [Agricultural Sciences]
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America ( IF 9.412 ) Pub Date : 2021-05-11 , DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2023802118
Yan Wang, Chunlai Cui, Guandong Wang, Yifei Li, Sibao Wang

Chemical insecticides remain the main strategy to combat mosquito-borne diseases, but the growing threat of insecticide resistance prompts the urgent need to develop alternative, ecofriendly, and sustainable vector control tools. Entomopathogenic fungi can overcome insecticide resistance and represent promising biocontrol tools for the control of mosquitoes. However, insects have evolved robust defense mechanisms against infection. Better understanding of mosquito defenses against fungal infection is critical for improvement of fungal efficacy. Here, we show that as the pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana penetrates into the host hemocoel, mosquitoes increase expression of the let-7 and miR-100 microRNAs (miRNAs). Both miRNAs translocate into fungal hyphae to specifically silence the virulence-related genes sec2p and C6TF, encoding a Rab guanine nucleotide exchange factor and a Zn(II)2Cys6 transcription factor, respectively. Inversely, expression of a let-7 sponge (anti–let-7) or a miR-100 sponge (anti–miR-100) in the fungus efficiently sequesters the corresponding translocated host miRNA. Notably, B. bassiana strains expressing anti–let-7 and anti–miR-100 are markedly more virulent to mosquitoes. Our findings reveal an insect defense strategy that employs miRNAs to induce cross-kingdom silencing of pathogen virulence-related genes, conferring resistance to infection.



中文翻译:

昆虫通过使用microRNA沉默毒力相关基因来防御真菌感染[农业科学]

化学杀虫剂仍然是防治蚊媒疾病的主要策略,但是对杀虫剂的抵抗力日益增强的威胁促使迫切需要开发替代,生态友好和可持续的媒介控制工具。病原性真菌可以克服对杀虫剂的抗药性,是控制蚊子的有前途的生物防治工具。但是,昆虫已经进化出强大的防御机制来抵抗感染。更好地了解蚊子对真菌感染的防御能力对于提高真菌功效至关重要。在这里,我们显示出随着病原真菌球孢白僵菌渗透到宿主血细胞中,蚊子会增加let-7和miR-100 microRNA(miRNA)的表达。两种miRNA均可转位进入真菌菌丝,以特异性沉默与毒力相关的基因sec2pC6TF,分别编码Rab鸟嘌呤核苷酸交换因子和Zn(II)2 Cys 6转录因子。相反,真菌中的let-7海绵(抗let-7)或miR-100海绵(抗miR-100)的表达有效隔离了相应的易位宿主miRNA。值得注意的是,表达抗let-7和抗miR-100的B. bassiana菌株对蚊子的毒性更大。我们的发现揭示了一种昆虫防御策略,该策略采用miRNA诱导病原体毒力相关基因的跨界沉默,赋予对感染的抵抗力。

更新日期:2021-05-03
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