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Transformants of Metarhizium anisopliae sf. anisopliae overexpressing chitinase from Metarhizium anisopliae sf. acridum show early induction of native chitinase but are not altered in pathogenicity to Manduca sexta



Transformants of Metarhizium anisopliae sf. anisopliae overexpressing chitinase from Metarhizium anisopliae sf. acridum show early induction of native chitinase but are not altered in pathogenicity to Manduca sexta



Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 78(4): 260-266



Extracellular chitinase activity has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several fungal infections. Following induction with chitin, the insect pathogens Metarhizium anisopliae sf. acridum ARSEF strain 324 and Metarhizium anisopliae sf. anisopliae ARSEF strain 2575 secrete 44-kDa basic and acidic isoforms of endochitinase, respectively. The gene from strain 324 (Chit1) was cloned and inserted into the genome of strain 2575 under the control of Aspergillus regulatory elements such that transgenic 2575 (2575-Chit(+)) expressed CHIT1 in a noninducing medium (i.e., not containing chitin). Isoelectric focusing followed by a zymogram technique revealed that neither wild-type 2575 nor 2575-Chit(+) produced significant amounts of the native 2575 acidic chitinase in a noninducing medium. However, in a chitin-containing medium, 2575-Chit(+) produced the native chitinase earlier than strain 2575, soon after secretion of CHIT1. We hypothesize that this is due to the production of soluble inducers following chitin hydrolysis by CHIT1 and that M. anisopliae uses enzymes expressed at low levels to sense the nature of the polymeric nutrient present in the immediate environment. However, the chitinase overproducers did not show altered virulence to caterpillars (Manduca sexta) compared to the wild-type fungus, suggesting that wild-type levels of chitinase are not limiting for cuticle penetration.

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Accession: 003991815

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 12009808

DOI: 10.1006/jipa.2001.5067


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