• Ascomycete;
  • Exoproteome;
  • Gibberella zeae;
  • Plant proteomics;
  • Scab

To understand early events in plant–pathogen interactions, it is necessary to explore the pathogen secretome to identify secreted proteins that help orchestrate pathology. The secretome can be obtained from pathogens grown in vitro, and then characterized using standard proteomic approaches based on protein extraction and subsequent identification of tryptic peptides by LC-MS. A subset of the secretome is composed of proteins whose presence is required to initiate infection and their removal from the secretome would result in pathogens with reduced or no virulence. We present here comparative secretome from Fusarium graminearum. This filamentous fungus causes Fusarium head blight on wheat, a serious cereal disease found in many cereal-growing regions. Affected grain is contaminated with mycotoxins and cannot be used for food or feed. We used label-free quantitative MS to compare the secretomes of wild-type with two nonpathogenic deletion mutants of F. graminearum, Δtri6, and Δtri10. These mutations in mycotoxin-regulating transcription factors revealed a subset of 29 proteins whose relative abundance was affected in their secretomes, as measured by spectral counting. Proteins that decreased in abundance are potential candidate virulence factors and these included cell wall-degrading enzymes, metabolic enzymes, pathogenesis-related proteins, and proteins of unknown function.