Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (FOC) is the causal agent of Fusarium wilt or Panama disease, one of the most severe diseases in banana crops worldwide. Antifungal treatment is not effective against this fungus and the choice of resistant cultivars is currently the main strategy to control FOC. Understanding the parasite-host relationship is essential in controlling this disease and in developing alternative control techniques. After the development of genomics and other '-omics' of filamentous fungi, proteomics has been extremely important in developing a deeper comprehension of the proteins involved in phytopathogen infection mechanisms. However, this approach has not been broadly applied to FOC yet. In a previous work, a set of FOC isolates showed different aggressiveness pattern, although no relationship could be stablished between behavioral and DNA markers classification. This project aims to identify proteins related to FOC environmental adaptation and virulence by comparative proteomic analysis of aggressive, moderately aggressive and less aggressive isolates. The chosen methodology is the Multidimensional Protein Identification Technology (MudPIT), a state-of-the-art technique in proteomics, which allows detection of a huge number of proteins, even those present in low abundance. To the best of our knowledge, this will be the first gel-free proteomics of FOC. We expect the results to drastically increase our knowledge on Fusarium wilt pathogenesis and on the FOC adaptation processes, which thereby brings us one step closer to new FOC control strategies.
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