Peroxisomes are important organelles that have diverse metabolic functions and participate in the pathogenicity of fungal pathogens. Previous studies indicate that most functions of peroxisomes are dependent on peroxisomal matrix proteins, which are delivered from the cytoplasm into peroxisomes by peroxisomal protein importers. In this study, the roles of peroxisomal protein importer AflPex5 were investigated in Aspergillus flavus with the application of gene disruption. AflPex5 deletion mutants failed to localize the fluorescently fused peroxisomal targeting signal 1 (PTS1) proteins to peroxisomes. Deletion of AflPex5 caused defects in sporulation, sclerotial formation, aflatoxin biosynthesis, stress response, and plant infection. Moreover, AflPex5 null mutants exhibited a significant defect in carbon metabolism and oxidants' clearance. These results indicate that the PTS1 pathway mediated by AflPex5 serves as an important role in the development, metabolism, and pathogenesis of A. flavus.
Aflatoxins; Aspergillus flavus; Pathogenesis; Peroxisome; Pex5