Combinatorial function of velvet and AreA in transcriptional regulation of nitrate utilization and secondary metabolism

Manuel S López-Berges, Katja Schafer, Concepción Hera, Antonio Di Pietro

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28 Citations (Scopus)


Velvet is a conserved protein complex that functions as a regulator of fungal development and secondary metabolism. In the soil-inhabiting pathogen Fusarium oxysporum, velvet governs mycotoxin production and virulence on plant and mammalian hosts. Here we report a previously unrecognized role of the velvet complex in regulation of nitrate metabolism. F. oxysporum mutants lacking VeA or LaeA, two key components of the complex, were impaired in growth on the non-preferred nitrogen sources nitrate and nitrite. Both velvet and the general nitrogen response GATA factor AreA were required for transcriptional activation of nitrate (nit1) and nitrite (nii1) reductase genes under de-repressing conditions, as well as for the nitrate-triggered increase in chromatin accessibility at the nit1 locus. AreA also contributed to chromatin accessibility and expression of two velvet-regulated gene clusters, encoding biosynthesis of the mycotoxin beauvericin and of the siderophore ferricrocin. Thus, velvet and AreA coordinately orchestrate primary and secondary metabolism as well as virulence functions in F. oxysporum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-84
Number of pages7
JournalFungal Genetics and Biology
Early online date13 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Chromatin
  • Fungal Proteins
  • Fusarium
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
  • Multigene Family
  • Mycotoxins
  • Nitrates
  • Secondary Metabolism
  • Siderophores
  • Fusarium oxysporum
  • GATA factor
  • Nitrate utilization
  • Secondary metabolism
  • Siderophore
  • Virulence


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