Chapter 21 : Stress Adaptation

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Planet Earth plays host to an extravagantly diverse range of fungal species. Recent estimates suggest the probable existence of as many as 3 million fungal species ( ), and the 75,000 of these that have been characterized to date display a wide range of lifestyles. Many fungi occupy specific niches within natural environments, playing essential roles in nutrient scavenging and recycling. Some thrive in close harmony with species from other kingdoms, a superb example being the mycorrhizal fungi, which display mutualistic interactions with plants. Other fungi are pathogenic, causing devastating infections of plants or animals. Indeed, the global threats that fungi pose to human health and food security are being increasingly recognized ( ). Fortunately, a relatively small number of fungal species cause infections in humans (circa 400 species are described in the [ ]). Some of these fungi normally occupy environmental niches but are capable of colonizing and damaging human (or animal) tissues, whereas other fungi appear to be obligately associated with their host.

Citation: Brown A, Cowen L, di Pietro A, Quinn J. 2017. Stress Adaptation, p 463-485. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0048-2016
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Figure 1

Cartoon summarizing stress pathways in the model fungus . See text. This figure summarizes some, but not all, of the known components of these signaling pathways. Components of MAPK signaling modules are highlighted in blue, transcription factors in pink, components of the calmodulin-calcineurin pathway in cyan, Rim pathway components in green, and the molecular chaperone Hsp90 in yellow. Note that the Cek1 MAPK pathway, which contributes to cell wall remodeling in this fungus, is included (dark blue ovals with white lettering).

Citation: Brown A, Cowen L, di Pietro A, Quinn J. 2017. Stress Adaptation, p 463-485. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0048-2016
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Figure 2

The CSR can lead to stress cross-protection. CSRs, which have been defined by genome-wide transcriptional profiling, represent the set of genes that is commonly up- or downregulated by different types of stress (see text). This Venn diagram illustrates the conceptual overlap between these sets of genes, highlighting the core stress genes. A CSR can lead to stress cross-protection during exposure to sequential stresses; i.e., cells that are exposed to one type of stress can then display elevated resistance to a subsequent stress of a different type (see text). In some cases no cross-protection is observed. In other cases it is observed, but this cross-protection can be reciprocal or nonreciprocal. This can depend on the nature and dose of the initial and subsequent stress.

Citation: Brown A, Cowen L, di Pietro A, Quinn J. 2017. Stress Adaptation, p 463-485. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0048-2016
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Figure 3

Exposure to combinatorial stresses can yield nonadditive outputs. Simultaneous exposure to some combinations of stress (i.e., certain combinatorial stresses) can yield additive outputs if there are no significant interactions between the stress pathways that mediate these responses. However, for some combinatorial stresses (see text), stress pathway interference can block the normal response to one of the imposed stresses, leading to combinatorial stress sensitivity. We are unaware of any examples of the opposite effect, where stress pathway enhancement might lead to elevated levels of combinatorial stress resistance.

Citation: Brown A, Cowen L, di Pietro A, Quinn J. 2017. Stress Adaptation, p 463-485. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0048-2016
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Figure 4

Different aspects of stress adaptation occur over different timescales. This generic figure summarizes this principle of an environmental insult such as osmotic stress (see text). However, some stresses may include adaptation mechanisms that occur over other timescales.

Citation: Brown A, Cowen L, di Pietro A, Quinn J. 2017. Stress Adaptation, p 463-485. In Heitman J, Howlett B, Crous P, Stukenbrock E, James T, Gow N (ed), The Fungal Kingdom. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.FUNK-0048-2016
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