The nematode-trapping fungus Arthrobotrys oligospora detects prey pheromones via G protein-coupled receptors

Chih-Yen Kuo, Rebecca J. Tay, Hung Che Lin, Sheng-Chian Juan, Guillermo Vidal-Diez de Ulzurrun, Yu-Chu Chang, Jason Hoki, Frank C. Schroeder, Yen-Ping Hsueh

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The ability to sense prey-derived cues is essential for predatory lifestyles. Under low-nutrient conditions, Arthrobotrys oligospora and other nematode-trapping fungi develop dedicated structures for nematode capture when exposed to nematode-derived cues, including a conserved family of pheromones, the ascarosides. A. oligospora senses ascarosides via conserved MAPK and cAMP–PKA pathways; however, the upstream receptors remain unknown. Here, using genomic, transcriptomic and functional analyses, we identified two families of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) involved in sensing distinct nematode-derived cues. GPCRs homologous to yeast glucose receptors are required for ascaroside sensing, whereas Pth11-like GPCRs contribute to ascaroside-independent nematode sensing. Both GPCR classes activate conserved cAMP–PKA signalling to trigger trap development. This work demonstrates that predatory fungi use multiple GPCRs to sense several distinct nematode-derived cues for prey recognition and to enable a switch to a predatory lifestyle. Identification of these receptors reveals the molecular mechanisms of cross-kingdom communication via conserved pheromones also sensed by plants and animals.
Original languageChinese (Traditional)
JournalNature Microbiology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Apr 22 2024

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