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Proteomic analysis of the metabolic adaptation of the biocontrol agent Pseudozyma flocculosa leading to glycolipid production

Walid Hammami, Florian Chain, Dominique Michaud and Richard R Bélanger*

Author Affiliations

Département de Phytologie, Centre de recherche en horticulture, Université Laval, Québec G1V 0A6, Canada

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Proteome Science 2010, 8:7  doi:10.1186/1477-5956-8-7

Published: 9 February 2010


The yeast-like epiphytic fungus Pseudozyma flocculosa is known to antagonize powdery mildew fungi through proliferation on colonies presumably preceded by the release of an antifungal glycolipid (flocculosin). In culture conditions, P. flocculosa can be induced to produce or not flocculosin through manipulation of the culture medium nutrients. In order to characterize and understand the metabolic changes in P. flocculosa linked to glycolipid production, we conducted a 2-DE proteomic analysis and compared the proteomic profile of P. flocculosa growing under conditions favoring the development of the fungus (control) or conducive to flocculosin synthesis (stress). A large number of protein spots (771) were detected in protein extracts of the control treatment compared to only 435 matched protein spots in extracts of the stress cultures, which clearly suggests an important metabolic reorganization in slow-growing cells producing flocculosin. From the latter treatment, we were able to identify 21 protein spots that were either specific to the treatment or up-regulated significantly (2-fold increase). All of them were identified based on similarity between predicted ORF of the newly sequenced genome of P. flocculosa with Ustilago maydis' available annotated sequences. These proteins were associated with the carbon and fatty acid metabolism, and also with the filamentous change of the fungus leading to flocculosin production. This first look into the proteome of P. flocculosa suggests that flocculosin synthesis is elicited in response to specific stress or limiting conditions.