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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2013 Mar;79(5):1523-33. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02916-12. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

Gene expression analysis of copper tolerance and wood decay in the brown rot fungus Fibroporia radiculosa.

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  • 1Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, USA.


High-throughput transcriptomics was used to identify Fibroporia radiculosa genes that were differentially regulated during colonization of wood treated with a copper-based preservative. The transcriptome was profiled at two time points while the fungus was growing on wood treated with micronized copper quat (MCQ). A total of 917 transcripts were differentially expressed. Fifty-eight of these genes were more highly expressed when the MCQ was protecting the wood from strength loss and had putative functions related to oxalate production/degradation, laccase activity, quinone biosynthesis, pectin degradation, ATP production, cytochrome P450 activity, signal transduction, and transcriptional regulation. Sixty-one genes were more highly expressed when the MCQ lost its effectiveness (>50% strength loss) and had functions related to oxalate degradation; cytochrome P450 activity; H(2)O(2) production and degradation; degradation of cellulose, hemicellulose, and pectin; hexose transport; membrane glycerophospholipid metabolism; and cell wall chemistry. Ten of these differentially regulated genes were quantified by reverse transcriptase PCR for a more in-depth study (4 time points on wood with or without MCQ treatment). Our results showed that MCQ induced higher than normal levels of expression for four genes (putative annotations for isocitrate lyase, glyoxylate dehydrogenase, laccase, and oxalate decarboxylase 1), while four other genes (putative annotations for oxalate decarboxylase 2, aryl alcohol oxidase, glycoside hydrolase 5, and glycoside hydrolase 10) were repressed. The significance of these results is that we have identified several genes that appear to be coregulated, with putative functions related to copper tolerance and/or wood decay.

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