Weiguo Fang

Raymond J. St. Leger10
Hsiao-Ling Lu4
Xinggang Liao4
10Raymond J. St. Leger
4Hsiao-Ling Lu
4Xinggang Liao
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Metarhizium spp. are being used as environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical insecticides, as model systems for studying insect-fungus interactions, and as a resource of genes for biotechnology. We present a comparative analysis of the genome sequences of the broad-spectrum insect pathogen Metarhizium anisopliae and the acridid-specific M. acridum.(More)
Metarhizium robertsii is a plant root colonizing fungus that is also an insect pathogen. Its entomopathogenicity is a characteristic that was acquired during evolution from a plant endophyte ancestor. This transition provides a novel perspective on how new functional mechanisms important for host switching and virulence have evolved. From a random T-DNA(More)
The low survival of microbial pest control agents exposed to UV is the major environmental factor limiting their effectiveness. Using gene disruption we demonstrated that the insect pathogenic fungus Metarhizium robertsii uses photolyases to remove UV-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD) and pyrimidine (6-4) photoproducts [(6-4)PPs] from its DNA.(More)
Locusts are infamous for their ability to aggregate into gregarious migratory swarms that pose a major threat to food security. Aggregation is elicited by an interplay of visual, tactile, and chemical stimuli, but the aggregation pheromone in feces is particularly important. Infection by the microsporidian parasite Paranosema (Nosema) locustae is known to(More)
Fungal pathogens of plants and insects infect their hosts by direct penetration of the cuticle. Plant and insect cuticles are covered by a hydrocarbon-rich waxy outer layer that represents the first barrier against infection. However, the fungal genes that underlie insect waxy layer degradation have received little attention. Here we characterize the single(More)
An enduring theme in pathogenic microbiology is poor understanding of the mechanisms of host specificity. Metarhizium is a cosmopolitan genus of invertebrate pathogens that contains generalist species with broad host ranges such as M. robertsii (formerly known as M. anisopliae var. anisopliae) as well as specialists such as the acridid-specific grasshopper(More)
Metarhizium species have recently been found to be plant rhizosphere associates as well as insect pathogens. Because of their abundance, rhizospheric Metarhizium could have enormous environmental impact, with co-evolutionary implications. Here, we tested the hypothesis that some Metarhizium spp. are multifactorial plant growth promoters. In two consecutive(More)
Locusts and grasshoppers (acridids) are among the worst pests of crops and grasslands worldwide. Metarhizium acridum, a fungal pathogen that specifically infects acridids, has been developed as a control agent but its utility is limited by slow kill time and greater expense than chemical insecticides. We found that expression of four insect specific(More)
Systematic gene disruption is a direct way to interrogate a fungal genome to functionally characterize the full suite of genes involved in various biological processes. Metarhizium robertsii is extraordinarily versatile, and it is a pathogen of arthropods, a saprophyte and a beneficial colonizer of rhizospheres. Thus, M. robertsii can be used as a(More)