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[SCAN] Interaction between the saprophytic fungus Aspergillus nidulans and suberin

Isabel Martins

When 19 Oct, 2022 from
12:00 pm to 01:00 pm
Where ITQB NOVA Auditorium
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Title: Interaction between the saprophytic fungus Aspergillus nidulans and suberin

Speaker: Isabel Martins, Applied and Environmental Mycology Laboratory

Abstract: The economical losses due to the action of fungi have been estimated to reach up to 30% of all agricultural production. Plant polyesters (viz. cutin and suberin) constitute major plant defence lines, protecting against numerous biotic and abiotic stresses and against water and solutes losses. Cutin and suberin, although having distinct anatomical distribution, share chemical similarities: both are biopolyesters where aliphatic (and aromatic in the case of suberin) monomers are cross-esterified and esterified to glycerol.

Growing scientific evidence led to the recognition that cutin constitutes a dynamic interface, rather than simple physical barrier. It influences both the plant and the phytopathogenic agents that interact with it. Several observations suggest that suberin can also modulate fungal (Aspergillus nidulans) development, e.g. eliciting its sexual development or leading to the accumulation of lipidic compounds that inhibit conidia germination. In addition, the analyses of A. nidulans transcriptome during suberin degradation/utilization suggested the involvement of novel regulatory mechanisms distinct from the previously described also controlling fatty acid utilization (i.e. Far’s).

This work aims to push our understanding of how the interaction between suberin and filamentous fungi takes place. This is an essential building block for developing effective agro-forestry management strategies for limiting/controlling fungal invasion. In parallel, better understanding of the mechanism of sexual reproduction, (which in “Aspergilli species” is not fully understood) can provide tools for strain industrial improvement, but also to disclosure links to secondary metabolism.


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