Data_Sheet_1_The MAP Kinase SsKpp2 Is Required for Mating/Filamentation in Sporisorium scitamineum.pdf

In the phytopathogenic fungus Sporisorium scitamineum, sexual mating between two compatible haploid cells and the subsequent formation of dikaryotic hyphae is essential for infection. This process was shown to be commonly regulated by a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and a cAMP/PKA signaling pathway in the corn smut fungus Ustilago maydis but remains largely unknown in S. scitamineum. In this study, we identified a conserved putative MAP kinase Kpp2 in S. scitamineum and named it as SsKpp2. The sskpp2Δ mutant displayed significant reduction in mating/filamentation, which could be partially restored by addition of cAMP or tryptophol, a quorum-sensing molecule identified in budding yeast. Transcriptional profiling showed that genes governing S. scitamineum mating or tryptophol biosynthesis were significantly differentially regulated in the sskpp2Δ mutant compared to the WT, under mating condition. Our results demonstrate that the MAP kinase SsKpp2 is required for S. scitamineum mating/filamentation likely through regulating the conserved pheromone signal transduction pathway and tryptophol production.