Maggie Levy

D. Vela-Corcía, D. Aditya Srivastava, A. Dafa-Berger, N. Rotem, O. Barda, and M. Levy. 2019. “MFS transporter from Botrytis cinerea provides tolerance to glucosinolate-breakdown products and is required for pathogenicity.” Nature Communications, 10, 1. Publisher's Version Abstract
Glucosinolates accumulate mainly in cruciferous plants and their hydrolysis-derived products play important roles in plant resistance against pathogens. The pathogen Botrytis cinerea has variable sensitivity to glucosinolates, but the mechanisms by which it responds to them are mostly unknown. Exposure of B. cinerea to glucosinolate-breakdown products induces expression of the Major Facilitator Superfamily transporter, mfsG, which functions in fungitoxic compound efflux. Inoculation of B. cinerea on wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana plants induces mfsG expression to higher levels than on glucosinolate-deficient A. thaliana mutants. A B. cinerea strain lacking functional mfsG transporter is deficient in efflux ability. It accumulates more isothiocyanates (ITCs) and is therefore more sensitive to this compound in vitro; it is also less virulent to glucosinolates-containing plants. Moreover, mfsG mediates ITC efflux in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells, thereby conferring tolerance to ITCs in the yeast. These findings suggest that mfsG transporter is a virulence factor that increases tolerance to glucosinolates. © 2019, The Author(s).
C.E. Calderón, N. Rotem, R. Harris, D. Vela-Corcía, and M. Levy. 2019. “Pseudozyma aphidis activates reactive oxygen species production, programmed cell death and morphological alterations in the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea.” Molecular Plant Pathology, 20, 4, Pp. 562-574. Publisher's Version Abstract
Many types of yeast have been studied in the last few years as potential biocontrol agents against different phytopathogenic fungi. Their ability to control plant diseases is mainly through combined modes of action. Among them, antibiosis, competition for nutrients and niches, induction of systemic resistance in plants and mycoparasitism have been the most studied. In previous work, we have established that the epiphytic yeast Pseudozyma aphidis inhibits Botrytis cinerea through induced resistance and antibiosis. Here, we demonstrate that P. aphidis adheres to B. cinerea hyphae and competes with them for nutrients. We further show that the secreted antifungal compounds activate the production of reactive oxygen species and programmed cell death in B. cinerea mycelium. Finally, P. aphidis and its secreted compounds negatively affect B. cinerea hyphae, leading to morphological alterations, including hyphal curliness, vacuolization and branching, which presumably affects the colonization ability and infectivity of B. cinerea. This study demonstrates additional modes of action for P. aphidis and its antifungal compounds against the plant pathogen B. cinerea. © 2018 The Authors. Molecular Plant Pathology published by BSPP and John Wiley & Sons Ltd