The exchange of small RNAs (sRNAs) between hosts and pathogens can lead to gene silencing in the recipient organism, a mechanism termed cross-kingdom RNAi (ck-RNAi). While fungal sRNAs promoting virulence are established, the significance of ck-RNAi in distinct plant pathogens is not clear. Here, we describe that sRNAs of the pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis, which represents the kingdom of oomycetes and is phylogenetically distant from fungi, employ the host plant's Argonaute (AGO)/RNA-induced silencing complex for virulence. To demonstrate H. arabidopsidis sRNA (HpasRNA) functionality in ck-RNAi, we designed a novel CRISPR endoribonuclease Csy4/GUS reporter that enabled in situ visualization of HpasRNA-induced target suppression in Arabidopsis. The significant role of HpasRNAs together with AtAGO1 in virulence was revealed in plant atago1 mutants and by transgenic Arabidopsis expressing a short-tandem-target-mimic to block HpasRNAs, that both exhibited enhanced resistance. HpasRNA-targeted plant genes contributed to host immunity, as Arabidopsis gene knockout mutants displayed quantitative enhanced susceptibility.
Sequencing data have been deposited in NCBI SRA (PRJNA395139).
Arabidopsis thaliana Col-0 infected with Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis Noco2 Raw sequence readsNCBI Bioproject, PRJNA395139.
- Arne Weiberg
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Axel A Brakhage, Hans Knöll Institute, Germany
© 2020, Dunker et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Communication is crucial for organismic interactions, from bacteria, to fungi, to humans. Humans may use the visual sense to monitor the environment before starting acoustic interactions. In comparison, fungi, lacking a visual system, rely on a cell-to-cell dialogue based on secreted signaling molecules to coordinate cell fusion and establish hyphal networks. Within this dialogue, hyphae alternate between sending and receiving signals. This pattern can be visualized via the putative signaling protein Soft (SofT), and the mitogen-activated protein kinase MAK-2 (MakB) which are recruited in an alternating oscillatory manner to the respective cytoplasmic membrane or nuclei of interacting hyphae. Here, we show that signal oscillations already occur in single hyphae of Arthrobotrys flagrans in the absence of potential fusion partners (cell monologue). They were in the same phase as growth oscillations. In contrast to the anti-phasic oscillations observed during the cell dialogue, SofT and MakB displayed synchronized oscillations in phase during the monologue. Once two fusion partners came into each other’s vicinity, their oscillation frequencies slowed down (entrainment phase) and transit into anti-phasic synchronization of the two cells’ oscillations with frequencies of 104±28 s and 117±19 s, respectively. Single-cell oscillations, transient entrainment, and anti-phasic oscillations were reproduced by a mathematical model where nearby hyphae can absorb and secrete a limited molecular signaling component into a shared extracellular space. We show that intracellular Ca2+ concentrations oscillate in two approaching hyphae, and depletion of Ca2+ from the medium affected vesicle-driven extension of the hyphal tip, abolished the cell monologue and the anti-phasic synchronization of two hyphae. Our results suggest that single hyphae engage in a ‘monologue’ that may be used for exploration of the environment and can dynamically shift their extracellular signaling systems into a ‘dialogue’ to initiate hyphal fusion.
The relative positions of viral DNA genomes to the host intranuclear environment play critical roles in determining virus fate. Recent advances in the application of chromosome conformation capture-based sequencing analysis (3 C technologies) have revealed valuable aspects of the spatiotemporal interplay of viral genomes with host chromosomes. However, to elucidate the causal relationship between the subnuclear localization of viral genomes and the pathogenic outcome of an infection, manipulative tools are needed. Rapid repositioning of viral DNAs to specific subnuclear compartments amid infection is a powerful approach to synchronize and interrogate this dynamically changing process in space and time. Herein, we report an inducible CRISPR-based two-component platform that relocates extrachromosomal DNA pieces (5 kb to 170 kb) to the nuclear periphery in minutes (CRISPR-nuPin). Based on this strategy, investigations of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), a prototypical member of the human herpesvirus family, revealed unprecedently reported insights into the early intranuclear life of the pathogen: (I) Viral genomes tethered to the nuclear periphery upon entry, compared with those freely infecting the nucleus, were wrapped around histones with increased suppressive modifications and subjected to stronger transcriptional silencing and prominent growth inhibition. (II) Relocating HSV-1 genomes at 1 hr post infection significantly promoted the transcription of viral genes, termed an ‘Escaping’ effect. (III) Early accumulation of ICP0 was a sufficient but not necessary condition for ‘Escaping’. (IV) Subnuclear localization was only critical during early infection. Importantly, the CRISPR-nuPin tactic, in principle, is applicable to many other DNA viruses.