The spatiotemporal control of KatG2 catalase-peroxidase contributes to the invasiveness of Fusarium graminearum in host plants.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are involved in the pathogen-host interactions, and play a Janus-faced role in the resistance and susceptibility of plants to biotrophic and necrotrophic pathogens. The ascomycete fungus Fusarium graminearum causes hazardous wheat Fusarium head blight worldwide. Deletion of the putative secreted catalase-peroxidase gene in F. graminearum, KatG2, reduced the virulence in wheat spike infection. However, it remains unclear when and where KatG2 scavenges ROS during the invasion of wheat. In this study, we delineate the change in ROS levels in the transition of the infection phase under microscopic observation. Correspondingly, the pathogen switches its strategy of infection with temporal and spatial regulation of KatG2 to counteract oxidative stress generated by host plant cells. With the native promoter-driven KatG2-mRFP strain, we show that KatG2-mRFP expression was induced in planta and accumulated in the infection front region at the early infection stage. In contrast to its ubiquitous cellular localization in runner hyphae, KatG2-mRFP is exclusively located on the cell wall of invading hyphal cells, especially at the pathogen-host cellular interface. Using posttranslational modification analysis, we found that asparagine residues at the 238 and 391 positions of KatG2 could be modified by N-glycosylation and that these two residues are required for KatG2 accumulation and cell wall localization in planta.