Abstract

Calonectria henricotiae (Che) and C. pseudonaviculata (Cps) are destructive fungal pathogens causing boxwood blight, a persistent threat to horticultural production, landscape industries, established gardens, and native ecosystems. Although extracellular proteins including effectors produced by fungal pathogens are known to play a fundamental role in pathogenesis, the composition of Che and Cps extracellular proteins has not been examined. Using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and bioinformatics prediction tools, 630 extracellular proteins and 251 cell membrane proteins of Che and Cps were identified in the classical secretion pathway in the present study. In the non-classical secretion pathway, 79 extracellular proteins were identified. The cohort of proteins belonged to 364 OrthoMCL clusters, with the majority (62%) present in both species, and a subset unique to Che (19%) and Cps (20%). These extracellular proteins were predicted to play important roles in cell structure, regulation, metabolism, and pathogenesis. A total of 124 proteins were identified as putative effectors. Many of them are orthologs of proteins with documented roles in suppressing host defense and facilitating infection processes in other pathosystems, such as SnodProt1-like proteins in the OrthoMCL cluster OG5_152723 and PhiA-like cell wall proteins in the cluster OG5_155754. This exploratory study provides a repository of secreted proteins and putative effectors that can provide insights into the virulence mechanisms of the boxwood blight pathogens.

Introduction

Boxwood blight is a destructive disease of Buxus species [1,2]. Since the first observation of this disease in the United Kingdom in 1994 [3], it has spread worldwide, disrupting boxwood nursery production, disfiguring plantings in landscapes and gardens, and reshaping natural ecosystems. Although fungicide applications can be effective in reducing disease development [1,4], there is no cure for boxwood blight. Durable host resistance may be the only solution for the boxwood industry.

Boxwood blight is caused by two distinct fungal species in the genus Calonectria, C. henricotiae (Che) and C. pseudonaviculata (Cps). The geographic origin of these pathogens is unknown. The known invasive spread of Cps is throughout Eurasia [5–15], North America [16–19], and New Zealand [20], while Che has been found exclusively in Europe [21–23]. In addition to the different geographic distributions, these two species are distinguished by genetic and phenotypic features. Che isolates exclusively possess the MAT1-1 mating-type idiomorph, whereas Cps isolates possess MAT1-2 [23]. Phenotypically, isolates of Cps were found to be more thermosensitive and intolerant to the tetraconazole fungicide than Che isolates [21]. The presence of a CYP51A pseudogene and lack of a functional CYP51A paralog in Cps may be responsible for its higher susceptibility to tetraconazole [24].

Fungi produce many extracellular proteins that are integral to cell structural and regulatory processes such as nutrient acquisition, cell wall assembly, defense, and interactions with abiotic environments and other organisms [25]. Within the extracellular fungal proteome, a collection of N-terminal signal peptide (SP)-containing proteins is secreted through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi apparatus in the classical secretion pathway [26,27]. A small number of proteins without an SP are secreted through cargo proteins or other unknown mechanisms in the non-classical secretion pathway [26–30]. Among fungal secreted proteins (collectively referred to as the secretome), many proteins function as enzymes to carry out hydrolytic, proteolytic, glucanalytic, and a variety of cleaving reactions [27,28,31]. Secretomes of pathogenic fungi often consist of small (<300 amino acids), cysteine-rich proteins [32]. These small secreted cysteine-rich proteins (SSCPs) that function to promote infection and suppress plant defenses are called effectors.

Fungal plant pathogens secrete effector proteins that can function either in the plant apoplast or be translocated to the host cell cytoplasm. Identification of fungal effectors can provide essential clues into their virulence strategies, as apoplastic effectors are known to counteract apoplastic plant proteins involved in defense responses, while non-apoplastic or cytoplasmic effectors interfere with plant cell signaling, metabolism, and immunity [33,34]. Although fungal effectors lack consensus sequence motifs that are present in bacterial and oomycete effectors, most identified fungal effectors are SSCPs [27,28,35,36]. This feature can be used to predict novel effectors from fungal secretomes. Other than 207 SSCPs and potential effectors identified from genome and transcriptome data of C. pseudoreteaudii infecting Eucalyptus [35], little is known about effectors of other Calonectria species, specifically the boxwood blight pathogens.

In addition to extracellular proteins, cell membrane proteins of fungal pathogens have critical roles in the cell structure and fungus–host interaction. For example, Aspergillus fumigatus Af293 employs cell membrane proteins for transmembrane transportation, biosynthesis, cell wall organization, and stress- and drug-induced responses [27]. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that cell membrane proteins produced by C. pseudoreteaudii are responsible for the transmembrane transportation of degradation and detoxifying enzymes [35]. While many high-throughput studies have excluded cell membrane proteins from their secretome analyses [28,31], others have reported them along with or as part of the secretome [27,37,38].

To date, no work has been done to identify effectors of the boxwood blight pathogens. However, it is likely that Che and Cps secrete effectors to suppress host defense and facilitate infection. Therefore, a comprehensive analysis of the extracellular proteins and putative effector candidates of Che and Cps is warranted to aid the understanding of the interactions between these pathogens and their hosts and environments. In the present study, we analyzed proteins produced by Che and Cps using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). An array of bioinformatic prediction tools was applied to identify extracellular proteins and putative effectors in both classical and non-classical secretion pathways and cell membrane proteins of the two boxwood blight pathogens. These proteins provide targets for further dissection of the biology and pathogenesis of the boxwood blight fungi and potential avenues for developing disease management measures.

Materials and methods

Fungal isolates

Four isolates of Che and Cps were used to produce proteins for mass-spectrometry (Table 1). Isolates were maintained as microsclerotia on sterile GelAir Cellophane Support sheets (Bio-Rad Laboratories, CA, U.S.A.) covering the surface of glucose-yeast extract-tyrosine (GYET) agar [39] for long-term storage. To produce actively growing cultures, microsclerotia-infested cellophane sheets were cut into small squares (approximately 5×5 mm) and placed on to fresh GYET agar at 20°C to facilitate sporulation of microsclerotia and expansion of colonies.

Table 1
Isolates of Che and Cps used in the present study
SpeciesIsolateOrigin
HostLocationYear
Che JKI 2106 Buxus sp. Germany 2007 
 NL009 B. sempervirens The Netherlands 2011 
Cps NC-BB1 B. sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ North Carolina, U.S.A. 2014 
 CBS114417 B. sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ United Kingdom 1999 
SpeciesIsolateOrigin
HostLocationYear
Che JKI 2106 Buxus sp. Germany 2007 
 NL009 B. sempervirens The Netherlands 2011 
Cps NC-BB1 B. sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ North Carolina, U.S.A. 2014 
 CBS114417 B. sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ United Kingdom 1999 

In vitro production and sample preparation of fungal proteins

Seven to nine mycelial plugs (6 mm in diameter) were taken from the actively growing margin of a 30-day-old culture of each isolate using a sterile cork borer. Fifteen to eighteen plugs of two isolates belonging to the same species were transferred to a 10-cm Petri dish containing 20 ml of sterile MES (2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid) buffer (10 mM, pH 6.5). Ten replication Petri dishes were prepared for each species. Petri dishes were incubated in a dark incubator set at 25°C for 3 days. For each species, the MES buffer from the plates was pooled (approximately 200 ml) and filtered through a Stericup® & Steritop®-HV 0.45 μm Durapore PVDF membrane Vacuum-Driven Filter Unit (MilliporeSigma, MA, U.S.A.) to capture cell-free filtrate. It was then concentrated using Amicon® Ultra-15 30K Centrifugal Filter Devices (MilliporeSigma, MA, U.S.A.). Proteins were quantified using a Pierce™ BCA Protein Assay Kit (Thermo Fisher Scientific, MA, U.S.A.) in conjunction with a BioMate™ 3S Spectrophotometer (Thermo Fisher Scientific, MA, U.S.A.).

For each species, 60 µg of proteins in 15 µl of the MES filtrate was diluted using NuPAGE™ LDS Sample Buffer (4×; Thermo Fisher Scientific, MA, U.S.A.), denatured at 95°C for 5 min, placed on ice for 3 min, and centrifuged at 15000×g for 5 min. They were then separated on a NuPAGE 4–12% Bis-Tris Protein gel and stained with SimplyBlue™ SafeStain (Thermo Fisher Scientific, MA, U.S.A.). A total of 25 plugs (2 mm in diameter) of soluble proteins were excised from the vertical profile on the gel. Plugs were destained twice for 45 min each in 50% acetonitrile (ACN) containing ammonium bicarbonate (140 mM) and dehydrated in 100% ACN. Samples were rehydrated in trypsin digestion buffer containing ultrapure water, 10% ACN, 10 µg/ml of trypsin, and 40 mM of ammonium bicarbonate at room temperature (approximately 22°C) for digesting proteins to peptides. After 30 min, additional digestion buffer minus trypsin was added to completely submerge gel plugs. Digestion continued overnight at 37°C. Trypsin-digested peptides were extracted by the addition of 100 µl of water containing 0.1% trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), followed by two extractions using 100 µl of 50% ACN containing 0.1% TFA. Peptides were vacuum-dried in a DNA 110 SpeedVac (Thermo Fisher Scientific, MA, U.S.A.) and resuspended in 10 µl of 50% ACN containing 0.1% TFA.

Mass spectrometry

Mass spectrometry (MS) analysis was performed on an Orbitrap Fusion Lumos (Thermo Fisher Scientific, San Jose, CA, U.S.A.) as previously described [40]. Positive ion static nanospray voltage was set to 2.4 kV and internal mass calibration was maintained with a user defined lock mass of a polydimethylcyclosiloxane ion at m/z 445.12003 [41]. MS survey scans were recorded in the Orbitrap at 120000 resolution over a mass range of 400–1600 m/z. The instrument was operated in top speed mode with a cycle time of 3 s. Monoisotopic peak selection for peptides was enabled. Dynamic exclusion was set to sample a peptide once only before placing its mass on an exclusion list for 20 s. Searchable peak lists were prepared using RawConverter [42] and saved as mascot generic format (mgf) files.

Proteins were identified using the Mascot search engine v. 2.6.0 (Matrix Science, London, U.K.). Predefined contaminant databases downloaded in Mascot Database Manager were used to identify prokaryotic and mammalian contaminants such as keratin, serum albumin, and excess trypsin (from peptide digestion). Reference protein datasets of Che strain CBS 138102 [43] and Cps strain CBS 139707 [44] were derived from their genome sequences [45,46] using CodingQuarray v. 2.0 [47]. Biological functions of proteins were preliminary annotated using Blast2GO v. 5.1 [48]. In order to match acquired spectra and identify pathogen proteins during the MS analysis, protein sequences in the datasets were concatenated using the following parameters: monoisotopic mass, parent ion tolerance of 5 ppm, fragment ion tolerance of 0.6 Da, 13C isotopes set to 2, peptide charge states of 1+, 2+, and 3+, trypsin as digesting enzyme with one missed cleavage allowed, and variable modifications of oxidation of methionine, N-terminal pyroglutamic acid from glutamic acid or glutamine. Scaffold v. 4.8.1 (Proteome Software Inc., Portland, OR, U.S.A.) was used to validate peptide and protein identification. Protein identifications were accepted if they could be established at greater than 95% probability and contained at least two identified peptides. Protein probabilities were assigned by the ProteinProphet algorithm (false discovery rate; FDR) in Scaffold [49]. The FDR values were adjusted to 0.4% for Peptide and 0.5% for Protein.

Three pairs of biological samples of Che and Cps were prepared for the MS analysis. The most robust set (No. 3) was selected for further analyses. Protein identifications were accepted if they could be established at ≥95.0% probability and contained at least two identified peptides. Moreover, prokaryotic and mammalian contaminants were excluded. Sequences of validated proteins of the sample set No. 3 in Scaffold v. 4.8.1 were exported to a FASTA data file for the following analyses.

To aid the assignment of subcellular localization (SL), all sequences were mapped to OrthoMCL clusters using the pre-configured workflow [50] at the EuPathDB Galaxy server [51]. One hundred and eighty-four proteins mapped to NO_GROUP or unknown by OrthoMCL were manually assigned to NO_GROUP01–30 or unknown01–63 clusters, respectively, by sequence similarity (Supplementary Table S1). Thereafter, all proteins were sorted by cluster. One sequence of a representative protein within each cluster was used to run BLASTP suite against the sequence database at NCBI [52] to confirm its Blast2GO annotation.

Prediction of secreted proteins

A modified pipeline [27] was used to identify secreted proteins of Che and Cps in classical and non-classical pathways (Figure 1). The presence of SP at the N-terminus was determined using SignalP 4.0 [53] and 5.0 [54] and Phobius 1.01 [55,56]. The number of transmembrane (TM) domains of each protein was predicted using Phobius [55,56] and TMHMM v. 2.0 [57]. The presence of a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor was predicted using PredGPI [58]. The presence of an ER retention signal was predicted using ScanProsite [59]. Predictions from these tools were pooled together to give a list of SP-, TM-, and/or GPI domain-containing, ER retention signal-free proteins (Figure 1). SL of these proteins was predicted using the combined outputs of three SL prediction tools including WoLF PSORT [60], TargetP 1.1 [61], and ProtComp 9 (www.softberry.com/berry.phtml?topic=protcompan&group=programs&subgroup=proloc). Proteins that were assigned as ‘secreted’ by all three SL prediction tools were retained for further analyses. For proteins with contradictory SL predictions by the three tools, their localizations were manually assigned based on their biological functional annotations obtained from Blast2GO, OrthoMCL, and BLASTP (Supplementary Table S1). Proteins determined as being secreted in the classical pathway were then categorized into two groups, ‘cell membrane’ or ‘extracellular,’ correlating to the presence or absence of the TM domain and GPI anchor, respectively (Figure 1). The remaining proteins were assigned as ‘intracellular’ (Figure 1).

A pipeline based on manually validated prediction results of computational tools for identifying extracellular proteins in classical and non-classical secretion pathways and cell membrane proteins produced in vitro by Che and Cps

Figure 1
A pipeline based on manually validated prediction results of computational tools for identifying extracellular proteins in classical and non-classical secretion pathways and cell membrane proteins produced in vitro by Che and Cps

These proteins are highlighted by a green background. Intracellular proteins that were eliminated from subsequent analyses are marked by a circle-backslash symbol on an orange background.

Figure 1
A pipeline based on manually validated prediction results of computational tools for identifying extracellular proteins in classical and non-classical secretion pathways and cell membrane proteins produced in vitro by Che and Cps

These proteins are highlighted by a green background. Intracellular proteins that were eliminated from subsequent analyses are marked by a circle-backslash symbol on an orange background.

Among proteins without SP, TM domain, GPI anchor, or ER retention signals, their localizations were manually assigned based on their biological functional annotations of Blast2GO, OrthoMCL, and BLASTP (Supplementary Table S1). If their orthologs were found as being secreted by other fungi, they were assigned as extracellular proteins in the non-classical pathway (Figure 1). The others were assigned as ‘intracellular’ or ‘unknown’ (Figure 1).

Functional analysis of secreted proteins

Three sets of protein sequences were taken forward for this functional analysis, including extracellular proteins in the classical secretion pathway, extracellular proteins in the non-classical secretion pathway, and cell membrane proteins. They were analyzed using the built-in functional analysis workflow in OmicsBox v. 1.1.164 (www.biobam.com/omicsbox). Briefly, sequences in each set were aligned to sequences in the NCBI Blast service (QBlast), mapped and annotated per their Gene Ontology (GO) term. They were also annotated using the EMBL-EMI InterPro web-service. The annotation results done by QBlast and InterPro were then merged in OmicsBox. Charts and statistics including GO counts were exported from OmicsBox.

Prediction of putative effectors

Extracellular and cell membrane proteins of Che and Cps in the classical and non-classical secretion pathways were analyzed using EffectorP v. 1.0 [62] and 2.0 [63]. Proteins predicted as effectors of high confidence (Probability > 0.5) by both versions of the program were called as putative effector candidates in this study, for the purpose of minimizing the false positive likelihood [63]. Localization of putative effectors to the plant apoplast was predicted using ApoplastP [64].

Results

Protein sequences obtained from MS

The LC-MS/MS analysis resulted in a total of 7815 unique peptides including 3947 (51%) that were present in both Che and Cps, and 1724 (22%) and 2144 (27%) only present in Che or Cps, respectively. These peptides represented 2289 Che and 2055 Cps protein sequences, respectively. After excluding sequences of the proteins with a probability of <95.0%, represented by a singular peptide, and/or identified as contaminants, 1524 Che and 1437 Cps sequences (Supplementary Table S1) were retained for the further analyses.

Extracellular and cell membrane proteins in the classical pathway

The presence of SP, TM domain, or GPI anchor motifs was determined for the 2961 protein sequences of Che and Cps (Figure 1). SignalP 4.1 found SP in 399 Che and 427 Cps sequences (Supplementary Table S1). SignalP 5 found SP in 401 Che and 432 Cps sequences (Supplementary Table S1). Phobius found SP in 455 Che and 480 Cps and at least one TM domain in 92 Che and 116 Cps sequences (Supplementary Table S1). TMHMM found TM domain(s) in 75 Che and 95 Cps sequences (Supplementary Table S1). PredGPI found GPI anchor motifs in 57 Che and 72 Cps sequences with ≥0.99 probability (Supplementary Table S1). Combining the above prediction results, 509 Che and 556 Cps SP-, TM domain-, and/or GPI anchor-containing sequences were retained to determine the presence of an ER retention signal (Figure 1). ScanProsite found the ER retention signal in 17 Che and 15 Cps sequences (Supplementary Table S1), which were excluded. SL for the remaining 492 Che and 541 Cps sequences were assigned using the collective SL prediction results of WoLF PSORT, TargetP, and ProtComp, and manual curation based on the bio-functional annotations of Blast2GO, OrthoMCL, and BLASTP. A total of 152 sequences (72 Che and 80 Cps) were unanimously predicted as intracellular by the three SL prediction tools or had orthologs that were verified as intracellular (Figure 1). The remaining 420 Che and 461 Cps sequences were determined as proteins belonging to the classical secretion pathway (Figure 1).

Depending on the presence of the TM domain(s) and/or GPI anchor, the 881 protein sequences in the classical secretion pathway were divided into two categories, namely extracellular proteins and cell membrane proteins. A total of 305 Che and 325 Cps sequences without TM domain(s) or GPI anchor were extracellular proteins (secretome), while the remaining 115 Che and 136 Cps sequences containing membrane-bound motifs were categorized as cell membrane proteins (Figure 1).

The 630 extracellular proteins within the Che and Cps secretomes belonged to a total of 231 OrthoMCL clusters. The majority of the clusters (64%) were found in both species, while 16 and 20% were unique to Che and Cps, respectively (Figure 2). These proteins had predictions for diverse bio-functional roles in the three major GO categories, namely Molecular Function (MF), Biological Process (BP), and Cellular Component (CC). Within the MF category, 238 Che and 278 Cps protein GO terms were predicted to engage in approximately 70 distinct enzymatic activities such as hydrolysis, metal ion and nucleotide binding, and peptidase activities (Figure 3A). Proteins with GO terms predicting endonuclease activity, exonuclease activity, mannan endo-1,4-β-mannosidase activity, isomerase activity, and hydrolysis on ester bonds, were present only in Che, while those predicted to be involved with aspartyl esterase activity, starch binding, pectate lyase activity, transmembrane transporter activity, calcium ion binding, pectinesterase activity, prenylcysteine oxidase activity, arabinan endo-1,5-α-L-arabinosidase activity, β-galactosidase activity, asparaginase activity, and polygalacturonase activity occurred only in Cps (Figure 3A). Within the BP category, proteins in 125 Che and 156 Cps GO terms were predicted to engage in at least 30 biofunctions; the most common included proteolysis, metabolic processes, and oxidation-reduction processes (Figure 3B). Proteins unique to the Che dataset were predicted to conduct nucleic acid phosphodiester bond hydrolysis, primary metabolic processes, sphingomyelin catabolism, and organic substance metabolism. In contrast, proteins unique to the Cps dataset were predicted to be involved in seven processes, namely cell wall modification, circadian rhythm, prenylcysteine catabolism, transmembrane transport, asparagine metabolism, and pectin and arabinan catabolism (Figure 3B). Among 31 Che and 42 Cps GO terms within the CC category, 10 Che and 16 Cps were predicted to localize in the extracellular region, whereas 12 Che and 13 Cps were annotated as integral components of the membrane using OmicsBox (Figure 3C), despite the absence of membrane-bound peptides determined by other prediction tools.

Orthologous cluster counts of Che and Cps in classical and non-classical secretion pathways

Figure 2
Orthologous cluster counts of Che and Cps in classical and non-classical secretion pathways
Figure 2
Orthologous cluster counts of Che and Cps in classical and non-classical secretion pathways

Direct GO counts in the MF (A), BP (B), and CC (C) categories among 306 Che and 326 Cps sequences of predicted extracellular proteins in the classical secretion pathway

Figure 3
Direct GO counts in the MF (A), BP (B), and CC (C) categories among 306 Che and 326 Cps sequences of predicted extracellular proteins in the classical secretion pathway
Figure 3
Direct GO counts in the MF (A), BP (B), and CC (C) categories among 306 Che and 326 Cps sequences of predicted extracellular proteins in the classical secretion pathway

The 251 cell membrane proteins belonged to a total of 99 OrthoMCL clusters. Sixty-one clusters were found in both species, while 15 and 23 were unique to Che and Cps, respectively (Figure 2). For MF, protein members of both species were involved in approximately 40 functions (Figure 4A). Four proteins unique to the Che dataset were associated with mannan endo-1,6-α-mannosidase activity (Figure 4A). Seven proteins including peroxidase, 3-phytase, asparaginase activities, and those with FAD-binding were unique to the Cps dataset (Figure 4A). For BP, proteins of both species were predicted to engage in more than 25 processes of diverse metabolic pathways (Figure 4B). Proteins unique to the Che dataset were predicted to act in carbohydrate catabolic processes, while Cps proteins were predicted to act in cell redox homeostasis and asparagine metabolic processes (Figure 4B). For CC, most proteins were predicted as membrane components, while some were also part of the endomembrane system, such as nuclear envelope, ER, and vesicles (Figure 4C).

Direct GO counts in the MF (A), BP (B), and CC (C) categories among 115 Che and 136 Cps sequences of predicted cell membrane proteins

Figure 4
Direct GO counts in the MF (A), BP (B), and CC (C) categories among 115 Che and 136 Cps sequences of predicted cell membrane proteins
Figure 4
Direct GO counts in the MF (A), BP (B), and CC (C) categories among 115 Che and 136 Cps sequences of predicted cell membrane proteins

Extracellular proteomes in the non-classical pathway

Excluding sequences containing the ER retention signal, SL of the remaining 1013 Che and 880 Cps proteins were assigned using the SL predictions of WoLF PSORT, TargetP, and ProtComp, and manual curation based on bio-functional annotations performed with Blast2GO, OrthoMCL, and BLASTP. A total of 48 Che and 31 Cps proteins were unanimously predicted by the three SL prediction tools or had orthologs that were verified as extracellular proteins. These 79 proteins found in the non-classical secretion pathway belonged to 34 OrthoMCL clusters. Sixteen clusters were present in both species, while 16 and two were unique to the Che and Cps datasets, respectively (Figure 2).

For MF, extracellular proteins of both species in the non-classical secretion pathway were predicted to play roles in hydrolysis, peptization, and compound binding, while only proteins belonging to the Che dataset were predicted to have specific functions such as metallopeptidase and carbon-sulfur lyase activities (Figure 5A). For BP, these proteins were predicted to have a role in metabolic processes, with the top three carbohydrate and oxidation-reduction processes and proteolysis (Figure 5B). For CC, one protein of each species was predicted as a membrane component by OmicsBox (Figure 5C). However, no membrane-bound motifs were found in these two protein sequences using other prediction tools.

Direct GO counts in the MF (A), BP (B), and CC (C) categories among 49 Che and 31 Cps sequences of predicted extracellular proteins in the non-classical secretion pathway

Figure 5
Direct GO counts in the MF (A), BP (B), and CC (C) categories among 49 Che and 31 Cps sequences of predicted extracellular proteins in the non-classical secretion pathway
Figure 5
Direct GO counts in the MF (A), BP (B), and CC (C) categories among 49 Che and 31 Cps sequences of predicted extracellular proteins in the non-classical secretion pathway

Putative effectors of Che and Cps

Putative effectors were predicted among the 630 extracellular proteins and 251 cell membrane proteins in the classical secretion pathway, as well as the 79 extracellular proteins in the non-classical pathway. For extracellular proteins in the classical pathway, 52 Che and 48 Cps proteins were predicted as putative effectors (Supplementary Table S1). For cell membrane proteins, three Che and five Cps proteins were predicted as putative effectors (Supplementary Table S1). For extracellular proteins in the non-classical pathway, nine Che and seven Cps proteins were predicted as putative effectors (Supplementary Table S1). These 124 proteins belonged to 52 OrthoMCL clusters, including 15 Che- and 11 Cps-unique clusters, and 24 that were present in both species (Table 2).

Table 2
List of putative effectors identified from extracellular and cell membrane proteins of Che and Cps
SpeciesApoplastic locationOrthoMCL cluster1Sequence(s)LocalizationBiological functionGO name2
Che Apoplastic OG5_163464 CUFF.12275.1.5 Extracellular, non-classical Glutathione-dependent formaldehyde-activating enzyme F: carbon-sulfur lyase activity 
   TCONS_00007935.1169    
  OG5_188927 CH.00496 Extracellular Hypothetical protein DL765_009141 P: proteolysis; F: metallopeptidase activity 
  unknown004 CH.01838 Extracellular Secreted protein n.a. 
  unknown005 CH.03559 Extracellular Hypothetical protein AK830_g2578 n.a. 
   CPS.08498    
  unknown015 CH.08044 Extracellular Hypothetical protein Micbo1qcDRAFT_206154 n.a. 
  unknown016 CH.08408 Extracellular Hypothetical protein TRIVIDRAFT_131328, partial n.a. 
   CPS.07529    
  unknown030 CUFF.11335.1.0 Extracellular Major allergen alt n.a. 
  unknown033 CUFF.147.1.8 Extracellular Small secreted cysteine-rich protein (SSCRP) n.a. 
 Non-apoplastic OG5_127576 CUFF.6398.1.0 Extracellular Related to plant PR-1 class of pathogen related proteins n.a. 
  OG5_141094 TCONS_00003137.420 Cell membrane γ interferon inducible lysosomal thiol reductase C: integral component of membrane 
  OG5_159533 CUFF.189.1.2 Extracellular, non-classical Hypothetical protein AK830_g9984 n.a. 
  unknown006 CH.03657 Extracellular —NA— n.a. 
  unknown007 CH.03681 Extracellular Hypothetical protein CC84DRAFT_1263931 n.a. 
  unknown018 CH.09694 Extracellular —NA— n.a. 
  unknown019 CPS.00858 Extracellular —NA— n.a. 
Che; Cps Apoplastic NO_GROUP012 CPS.02420 Extracellular Putative cutinase 1 F: carboxylic ester hydrolase activity 
  NO_GROUP019 CUFF.7628.1.1 Extracellular Chorismate mutase, type II C: membrane; C: integral component of membrane; P: chorismate metabolic process 
   TCONS_00009802.394    
  NO_GROUP021 CUFF.218.1.0 Cell membrane Hypothetical protein AK830_g2507 n.a. 
   TCONS_00003574.146    
  OG5_149850 CUFF.30.1.0 Extracellular Cutinase; carbohydrate esterase family 5 protein C: extracellular region; P: pathogenesis; F: cutinase activity 
   TCONS_00005083.204    
  OG5_149851 CUFF.1699.1.1 Extracellular Guanyl-specific ribonuclease F1 F: RNA binding; F: endoribonuclease activity; F: ribonuclease T1 activity; P: RNA phosphodiester bond hydrolysis, endonucleolytic 
   TCONS_00005542.18    
  OG5_152723 CUFF.12308.1.2 Extracellular Eliciting plant response-like protein; protein SnodProt1 n.a. 
   CUFF.8119.1.1    
   CUFF.9063.1.6    
   TCONS_00000004.4    
   TCONS_00006271.15    
   TCONS_00006369.287    
  OG5_155754 CH.07302 Extracellular Cell wall protein PhiA; hypothetical protein CEP54_009425 n.a. 
   CUFF.6792.1.0    
   TCONS_00005539.0    
   TCONS_00009210.105    
   TCONS_00014055.66    
   TCONS_00014195.42    
  OG5_159298 CH.02115 Extracellular gdsl-like lipase acylhydrolase P: metabolic process; F: hydrolase activity, acting on glycosyl bonds 
  OG5_173175 CUFF.2807.1.0 Extracellular Predicted protein n.a. 
   TCONS_00001797.825    
  OG5_188749 CH.09023 Extracellular UPF0311 protein; hypothetical protein Micbo1qcDRAFT_106863, partial n.a. 
   CPS.05761    
  OG5_203284 CH.06526 Extracellular Hypothetical protein NECHADRAFT_122703; CDV36_000878 n.a. 
   CH.09635    
   CPS.00358    
  unknown014 CH.07830 Extracellular Heat-labile enterotoxin IIA, A chain C: extracellular space; P: pathogenesis; F: toxin activity 
   CPS.07297    
  unknown036 CUFF.5085.1.1 Extracellular Hypothetical protein AK830_g8252 n.a. 
   TCONS_00004137.536    
 Non-apoplastic NO_GROUP015 CUFF.10007.1.0 Extracellular Hypothetical protein FIE12Z_11595 n.a. 
   TCONS_00012764.424    
  OG5_126711 CUFF.12042.1.4 Extracellular, non-classical Glutathione peroxidase F: glutathione peroxidase activity; P: response to oxidative stress; P: oxidation-reduction process; P: cellular oxidant detoxification 
   TCONS_00003797.179    
   CPS.01909    
  OG5_127142 CUFF.2297.1.9 Extracellular, non-classical Cytochrome b5; putative progesterone binding protein n.a. 
   TCONS_00008509.1189    
  OG5_127452 CUFF.8752.1.7 Cell membrane Peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase b P: protein peptidyl-prolyl isomerization; F: peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase activity 
  OG5_129624 TCONS_00011054.33 Extracellular Dienelactone hydrolase F: hydrolase activity 
  OG5_159304 CH.00799 Extracellular, non-classical Aegerolysin aa-Pri1 P: hemolysis by symbiont of host erythrocytes 
   CPS.02349    
  OG5_211107 CUFF.6707.1.1 Extracellular Hypothetical protein AK830_g2470 n.a. 
   TCONS_00012290.703    
  OG5_233008 CH.08973 Extracellular Hypothetical protein UCREL1_198 n.a. 
   CPS.05928    
  unknown012 CH.05735 Extracellular Carbohydrate-binding module family 13 protein F: amidase activity; F: N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase activity; P: peptidoglycan catabolic process; F: carbohydrate binding 
   CPS.02503    
  unknown028 CPS.08330 Extracellular Hypothetical protein BN4615_P9102 n.a. 
   CUFF.2832.1.2    
  unknown044 CUFF.9764.1.3 Extracellular Hypothetical protein CGGC5_9092 n.a. 
   TCONS_00009751.285    
Cps Apoplastic OG5_126613 CUFF.8366.1.3 Cell membrane Thioredoxin-like protein (probable thioredoxin) P: cell redox homeostasis 
   TCONS_00008072.249    
  OG5_169371 CH.01131 Extracellular Filamentous hemagglutinin/adhesin n.a. 
   CPS.02832    
  unknown047 CPS.03762 Extracellular Hypothetical protein Micbo1qcDRAFT_206154 n.a. 
  unknown050 PGN.14881 Extracellular Hypothetical protein AK830_g8252 n.a. 
  unknown061 TCONS_00009299.315 Extracellular —NA— n.a. 
 Non-apoplastic OG5_149749 CUFF.5974.1.0 Extracellular Related to serine proteinase inhibitor IA-2 n.a. 
   TCONS_00002105.598    
  OG5_168898 CH.04048 Extracellular Putative pectate lyase F C: extracellular region; F: pectate lyase activity 
   CPS.06721    
  OG5_233276 CH.08975 Extracellular Hypothetical protein AK830_g4145 n.a. 
   CPS.01629    
  unknown046 CPS.03447 Extracellular —NA— n.a. 
  unknown048 CPS.04723 Extracellular —NA— n.a. 
  unknown058 TCONS_00001477.21 Extracellular Hypothetical protein VFPFJ_02932 n.a. 
SpeciesApoplastic locationOrthoMCL cluster1Sequence(s)LocalizationBiological functionGO name2
Che Apoplastic OG5_163464 CUFF.12275.1.5 Extracellular, non-classical Glutathione-dependent formaldehyde-activating enzyme F: carbon-sulfur lyase activity 
   TCONS_00007935.1169    
  OG5_188927 CH.00496 Extracellular Hypothetical protein DL765_009141 P: proteolysis; F: metallopeptidase activity 
  unknown004 CH.01838 Extracellular Secreted protein n.a. 
  unknown005 CH.03559 Extracellular Hypothetical protein AK830_g2578 n.a. 
   CPS.08498    
  unknown015 CH.08044 Extracellular Hypothetical protein Micbo1qcDRAFT_206154 n.a. 
  unknown016 CH.08408 Extracellular Hypothetical protein TRIVIDRAFT_131328, partial n.a. 
   CPS.07529    
  unknown030 CUFF.11335.1.0 Extracellular Major allergen alt n.a. 
  unknown033 CUFF.147.1.8 Extracellular Small secreted cysteine-rich protein (SSCRP) n.a. 
 Non-apoplastic OG5_127576 CUFF.6398.1.0 Extracellular Related to plant PR-1 class of pathogen related proteins n.a. 
  OG5_141094 TCONS_00003137.420 Cell membrane γ interferon inducible lysosomal thiol reductase C: integral component of membrane 
  OG5_159533 CUFF.189.1.2 Extracellular, non-classical Hypothetical protein AK830_g9984 n.a. 
  unknown006 CH.03657 Extracellular —NA— n.a. 
  unknown007 CH.03681 Extracellular Hypothetical protein CC84DRAFT_1263931 n.a. 
  unknown018 CH.09694 Extracellular —NA— n.a. 
  unknown019 CPS.00858 Extracellular —NA— n.a. 
Che; Cps Apoplastic NO_GROUP012 CPS.02420 Extracellular Putative cutinase 1 F: carboxylic ester hydrolase activity 
  NO_GROUP019 CUFF.7628.1.1 Extracellular Chorismate mutase, type II C: membrane; C: integral component of membrane; P: chorismate metabolic process 
   TCONS_00009802.394    
  NO_GROUP021 CUFF.218.1.0 Cell membrane Hypothetical protein AK830_g2507 n.a. 
   TCONS_00003574.146    
  OG5_149850 CUFF.30.1.0 Extracellular Cutinase; carbohydrate esterase family 5 protein C: extracellular region; P: pathogenesis; F: cutinase activity 
   TCONS_00005083.204    
  OG5_149851 CUFF.1699.1.1 Extracellular Guanyl-specific ribonuclease F1 F: RNA binding; F: endoribonuclease activity; F: ribonuclease T1 activity; P: RNA phosphodiester bond hydrolysis, endonucleolytic 
   TCONS_00005542.18    
  OG5_152723 CUFF.12308.1.2 Extracellular Eliciting plant response-like protein; protein SnodProt1 n.a. 
   CUFF.8119.1.1    
   CUFF.9063.1.6    
   TCONS_00000004.4    
   TCONS_00006271.15    
   TCONS_00006369.287    
  OG5_155754 CH.07302 Extracellular Cell wall protein PhiA; hypothetical protein CEP54_009425 n.a. 
   CUFF.6792.1.0    
   TCONS_00005539.0    
   TCONS_00009210.105    
   TCONS_00014055.66    
   TCONS_00014195.42    
  OG5_159298 CH.02115 Extracellular gdsl-like lipase acylhydrolase P: metabolic process; F: hydrolase activity, acting on glycosyl bonds 
  OG5_173175 CUFF.2807.1.0 Extracellular Predicted protein n.a. 
   TCONS_00001797.825    
  OG5_188749 CH.09023 Extracellular UPF0311 protein; hypothetical protein Micbo1qcDRAFT_106863, partial n.a. 
   CPS.05761    
  OG5_203284 CH.06526 Extracellular Hypothetical protein NECHADRAFT_122703; CDV36_000878 n.a. 
   CH.09635    
   CPS.00358    
  unknown014 CH.07830 Extracellular Heat-labile enterotoxin IIA, A chain C: extracellular space; P: pathogenesis; F: toxin activity 
   CPS.07297    
  unknown036 CUFF.5085.1.1 Extracellular Hypothetical protein AK830_g8252 n.a. 
   TCONS_00004137.536    
 Non-apoplastic NO_GROUP015 CUFF.10007.1.0 Extracellular Hypothetical protein FIE12Z_11595 n.a. 
   TCONS_00012764.424    
  OG5_126711 CUFF.12042.1.4 Extracellular, non-classical Glutathione peroxidase F: glutathione peroxidase activity; P: response to oxidative stress; P: oxidation-reduction process; P: cellular oxidant detoxification 
   TCONS_00003797.179    
   CPS.01909    
  OG5_127142 CUFF.2297.1.9 Extracellular, non-classical Cytochrome b5; putative progesterone binding protein n.a. 
   TCONS_00008509.1189    
  OG5_127452 CUFF.8752.1.7 Cell membrane Peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase b P: protein peptidyl-prolyl isomerization; F: peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase activity 
  OG5_129624 TCONS_00011054.33 Extracellular Dienelactone hydrolase F: hydrolase activity 
  OG5_159304 CH.00799 Extracellular, non-classical Aegerolysin aa-Pri1 P: hemolysis by symbiont of host erythrocytes 
   CPS.02349    
  OG5_211107 CUFF.6707.1.1 Extracellular Hypothetical protein AK830_g2470 n.a. 
   TCONS_00012290.703    
  OG5_233008 CH.08973 Extracellular Hypothetical protein UCREL1_198 n.a. 
   CPS.05928    
  unknown012 CH.05735 Extracellular Carbohydrate-binding module family 13 protein F: amidase activity; F: N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine amidase activity; P: peptidoglycan catabolic process; F: carbohydrate binding 
   CPS.02503    
  unknown028 CPS.08330 Extracellular Hypothetical protein BN4615_P9102 n.a. 
   CUFF.2832.1.2    
  unknown044 CUFF.9764.1.3 Extracellular Hypothetical protein CGGC5_9092 n.a. 
   TCONS_00009751.285    
Cps Apoplastic OG5_126613 CUFF.8366.1.3 Cell membrane Thioredoxin-like protein (probable thioredoxin) P: cell redox homeostasis 
   TCONS_00008072.249    
  OG5_169371 CH.01131 Extracellular Filamentous hemagglutinin/adhesin n.a. 
   CPS.02832    
  unknown047 CPS.03762 Extracellular Hypothetical protein Micbo1qcDRAFT_206154 n.a. 
  unknown050 PGN.14881 Extracellular Hypothetical protein AK830_g8252 n.a. 
  unknown061 TCONS_00009299.315 Extracellular —NA— n.a. 
 Non-apoplastic OG5_149749 CUFF.5974.1.0 Extracellular Related to serine proteinase inhibitor IA-2 n.a. 
   TCONS_00002105.598    
  OG5_168898 CH.04048 Extracellular Putative pectate lyase F C: extracellular region; F: pectate lyase activity 
   CPS.06721    
  OG5_233276 CH.08975 Extracellular Hypothetical protein AK830_g4145 n.a. 
   CPS.01629    
  unknown046 CPS.03447 Extracellular —NA— n.a. 
  unknown048 CPS.04723 Extracellular —NA— n.a. 
  unknown058 TCONS_00001477.21 Extracellular Hypothetical protein VFPFJ_02932 n.a. 
1

Names of clusters containing putative effectors without clear biological functions or GO names are in bold.

2

n.a., not available.

With regard to their biological functions, approximately 46% of the putative effectors had undetermined functions or GO names using OmicsBox. The others had diverse functions (Table 2) such as hydrolysis (OrthoMCL clusters: OG5_163464, NO_GROUP012, OG5_159298, OG5_129624), pathogenesis (OG5_149850, OG5_152723, OG5_155754, unknown014, OG5_168898), proteolysis and peptization (OG5_188927), cutinase activity (NO_GROUP012, OG5_149850), and response to oxidative stress (OG5_126711).

Discussion

Understanding the biology and pathogenesis of the boxwood blight pathogens is fundamental to the protection of horticultural and landscape industries, established gardens, and natural ecosystems from the devastation caused by this disease. Boxwood is a plant of economic and cultural importance. With an estimated value of $170 million in U.S.A. alone [1,2], boxwood production is a critical asset to the ornamental plant nursery and landscape industries. Boxwood is also the backbone landscape plant of countless heritage sites worldwide, including Mount Vernon, Colonial Williamsburg, and Monticello in U.S.A. In the present study, a comparative proteomic analysis was carried out to enhance our knowledge on the extracellular proteins, including pathogenesis-related effectors produced by Che and Cps. The results of the present study have several implications.

Extracellular proteins produced by both boxwood blight pathogens are involved in a diversity of molecular functions and processes that may be critical to pathogen growth and infection. Comparing Che and Cps, similar GO counts were observed in the MF and BP categories of the extracellular proteomes (Figures 3 and 5). This suggests that these two closely related species generally produced similar proteins and have comparable metabolic processes under the in-vitro condition in the present study. Extracellular proteins of Che and Cps identified in the present study were predicted to be involved in a variety of hydrolase activities, such as acting on glycosyl compounds, carbon-nitrogen bonds, and peptide bonds (Figures 3 and 5). They were also active in proteolysis, carbohydrate metabolism, and oxidation-reduction processes (Figures 3 and 5). Although proteins that play roles in MF and BP may not directly be involved in pathogenesis, they are expected to function in ecological adaptation, response to environmental stresses, and cell metabolism and growth, which may be prerequisites for pathogenesis. For example, 958 expanded gene families were found in another member of the genus Calonectria, C. pseudoreteaudii based on in-silico genomic analysis [35]. The expansion of these genes indicated active host adaptive processes and backbone enzyme production in C. pseudoreteaudii [35]. Whether the boxwood blight pathogens have also expanded these gene families and related proteins warrant a comparative study, including other species in the genus Calonectria and the Nectriaceae family, such as Pseudonectria foliicola, the causal agent of Volutella blight of boxwood.

Cell membrane proteins of Che and Cps are not simply an integral component of the cell structure, but also play vital molecular and biological roles. The majority of 115 Che and 136 Cps cell membrane proteins predicted using the bioinformatics workflow (Figure 1) were also annotated as components of the plasma membrane or cell wall using OmicsBox (Figure 4C). Approximately eight protein members of each species were associated with the production of cytoplasmic vesicles and that of mitochondrial, Golgi, and nuclear membranes as annotated by OmicsBox (Figure 4C). These annotations appeared to be contradictory to the prediction results using the workflow (Figure 1), although these proteins could localize to the plasma membrane by moving through the intracellular membranes. The exact SL of these proteins warrants further validation. This can be achieved using fluorescent-tagged proteins followed by histological examination in a homologous or heterologous system. In addition to being important structural components, cell membrane proteins of the boxwood blight pathogens may also have vital roles in cell signaling, regulation, and metabolism. Cell membrane proteins act as enzymes carrying out a variety of hydrolase, oxidoreductase, transferase activities, as well as transmembrane transport (Figure 4). Although the exact significance of their roles is unclear, they could likely involve the degradation of plant cells and the export of other pathogenesis-related proteins. Due to their consistent presence in the cell membrane and critical role in fungal survival and pathogenesis, cell membrane proteins of fungal pathogens are targets often used for developing antibodies and immune-therapies for human diseases [27,65]. For the boxwood blight pathogens, antibody-based diagnostic assays targeting proteins identified in this study are currently under development. Specifically, one high-abundance protein unique to Che and Cps was identified among those in the classical secretion pathway and has been targeted for further study. Antibodies have been raised against the protein and found to react with proteins extracted from lesions on Buxus leaves infected with Che and Cps (D.G. Luster, personal communication).

More than 120 putative effectors of Che and Cps were predicted in the present study, while their exact roles in the pathogenesis of boxwood blight warrant further analyses. Many of the putative effectors of Che and Cps had predicted functional similarity to effectors documented in other plant pathosystems. Among the putative effectors present in both species, the two largest OrthoMCL clusters are OG5_152723 and OG5_155754. Each of these two clusters contains six apoplastic putative effectors (Table 2). The OG5_152723 cluster contains SnodProt1 and its homologs known as pathogenesis response elicitors and virulence-related effectors previously found in many important plant pathogens, such as the glume blotch fungus Phaeosphaeria nodorum [66], the blast fungus Magnaporthe grisea [67], the Verticillium wilt fungus Verticillium dahliae [68], and the Fusarium head blight fungus Fusarium graminearum [69,70]. Cluster OG5_155754 contains cell wall protein PhiA and its homologs (Table 2), which are known for their critical roles in conidia formation and stress response of Aspergillus species [71,72] and Fusarium oxysporum [73]. Two clusters, OG5_149850 and NO_GROUP012 include cutinase enzymes that can facilitate pathogen ingress and infection by hydrolyzing plant cutin [74,75]. In addition, homologs of chorismate mutase [76,77] represented by cluster NO_GROUP019, guanyl-specific ribonuclease by OG5_149851 [78], gdsl-like lipase acylhydrolase [62] by OG5_159298, and dienelactone hydrolase [79] by OG5_129624 were reported as effectors of other plant pathogens, while those of heat-labile enterotoxin IIA represented by cluster unknown014 were produced by human-pathogenic Escherichia coli [80]. These homologs of previously reported effectors may play major roles in the boxwood blight disease and warrant functional validation. Additionally, more than half of the putative effectors had either undetermined functions or GO names as predicted by OmicsBox, or annotated functions not previously reported for any fungal effectors (Table 2). While it is unlikely that every predicted effector plays a role in infection, the findings here reveal the current gap in our knowledge on the pathogenesis of the fungi causing boxwood blight and provides a repository of potentially novel effectors to be analyzed in future studies. The functions of individual predicted effectors can be experimentally validated upon the establishment of a transformation system for Che and Cps or using a heterologous system to characterize protein function. Furthermore, putative effectors identified in this study may be useful for identifying resistance genes in resistant cultivars and nonhosts. For example, high-throughput screenings for resistance genes using putative effector candidates have been performed for other plant pathosystems, including late blight of potato caused by Phytophthora infestans [81,82] and downy mildew of lettuce caused by Bremia lactucae [83]. As no curative fungicide has been found and durable host resistance may be the only long-term solution for controlling boxwood blight, the identification of Che and Cps putative effectors in this study will potentially contribute to the screening for resistance genes and downstream breeding programs of resistant boxwood cultivars.

While 712 extracellular proteins and 251 cell membrane proteins were identified in the present study using in-vitro experimental materials, it is important to continue the discovery of Che and Cps proteins using other approaches. The experimental proteomes produced in vitro should be considered as only part of the entire extracellular proteomes of Che and Cps. Many other proteins could be secreted exclusively in planta. However, to take the in-planta approach, a reference protein dataset derived for a boxwood host genome is a prerequisite to match the acquired spectra and distinguish pathogen versus host proteins during the MS analysis. At present, no Buxus genomes are available to generate such a reference dataset. Additionally, different fungal structures, depending on their roles in the life cycles of the pathogens, may secrete distinct proteins to accomplish various biological functions. For Che and Cps, mycelia are responsible for vegetative growth and expansion, while microsclerotia [84] formed by specialized mycelia can survive under adverse environmental conditions for at least 5 years [85]. When environmental conditions are favorable, microsclerotia sporulate to form sporodochia, each containing masses of conidia, the asexual spores that initiate infection. In the present study, proteins were mainly produced by mycelia submerged in MES buffer. It will be interesting to compare the extracellular proteomes of the present study with those exclusively produced by conidia and microsclerotia, which potentially contain additional key proteins related to fungal pathogenicity and response to stresses, respectively, although separating and accumulating enough material from the individual microstructures may pose a particular challenge.

In the present study, we used a bioinformatics approach to predict extracellular proteins in experimental samples prepared in vitro. We note that previous studies applied an in-silico approach to predict fungal secretomes, based entirely on genome sequences [27,31,35]. Similar in-silico analytical predictions of Cps and Che secretomes based on their genome sequences are ongoing (J. Crouch, personal communication). It will be interesting to compare those with in vitro-produced extracellular proteins identified in the present study to better understand protein expression of the boxwood blight pathogens under different conditions.

Data Availability

All data are provided. Original genome sequence and protein datasets are cited and links are provided in the ‘References’. Analyzed data are provided in the supplementary table.

Competing Interests

The authors declare that there are no competing interests associated with the manuscript.

Funding

This work was supported by USDA-ARS appropriated projects [grant numbers 8044-22000-046-00-D, 8042-22000-298-00-D]; the USDA-APHIS Farm Bill 10007 program [grant number 17-8130-0764-CA]; and the appointments of X.Y., S.R.R., and N.L. to the ARS Research Participation Program administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the USDA [grant number 60-8044-0-006]; and the ORISE is managed by ORAU [DOE contract number DE579AC05-06OR23100].

Author Contribution

X.Y., M.B.M., J.A.C., and D.G.L. designed the experiments. M.B.M., N.S., and D.G.L. collected fungal samples and performed in vitro experiments. W.M.G. performed MS. X.Y., M.B.M., S.R.R., W.M.G., N.L., and D.G.L. analyzed data. X.Y. wrote the initial manuscript. All authors contributed to revisions of the manuscript. All authors reviewed and approved the manuscript.

Acknowledgements

We thank Emily Smallwood for maintaining fungal cultures during the study. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Abbreviations

     
  • ACN

    acetonitrile

  •  
  • BP

    biological process

  •  
  • CC

    cellular component

  •  
  • Che

    Calonectria henricotiae

  •  
  • Cps

    Calonectria pseudonaviculata

  •  
  • ER

    endoplasmic reticulum

  •  
  • GO

    gene ontology

  •  
  • GPI

    glycosylphosphatidylinositol

  •  
  • GYET

    glucose-yeast extract-tyrosine

  •  
  • LC-MS/MS

    liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry

  •  
  • MES

    2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid

  •  
  • MF

    molecular function

  •  
  • MS

    mass spectrometry

  •  
  • SL

    subcellular localization

  •  
  • SP

    signal peptide

  •  
  • SSCP

    small secreted cysteine-rich protein

  •  
  • TFA

    trifluoroacetic acid

  •  
  • TM

    transmembrane

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Author notes

*

Present address: USDA, ARS, Crop Improvement and Protection Research, Salinas, CA, U.S.A.

This is an open access article published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society and distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).

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