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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2000 Aug;66(8):3421-6.

Tandem repeat of a transcriptional enhancer upstream of the sterol 14alpha-demethylase gene (CYP51) in Penicillium digitatum.

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  • 1Department of Agricultural and Environmental Biology, The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Japan.


We investigated the mechanism of resistance to demethylation inhibitors (DMI) in Penicillium digitatum by isolating the CYP51 gene, which encodes the target enzyme (P450(14DM)) of DMI, from three DMI-resistant and three DMI-sensitive strains. The structural genes of all six strains were identical, but in the promoter region, a unique 126-bp sequence was tandemly repeated five times in the DMI-resistant strains and was present only once in the DMI-sensitive strains. Constitutive expression of CYP51 in the resistant strains was about 100-fold higher than that in the sensitive strains. We introduced CYP51, including the promoter region, from a DMI-resistant strain into a DMI-sensitive strain, which rendered the transformants DMI resistant and increased CYP51 expression. We also found that if the number of copies of the repeat was reduced to two, resistance and CYP51 expression also decreased. These results indicate that the 126-bp unit acts as a transcriptional enhancer and that a tandem repeat of the unit enhances CYP51 expression, resulting in DMI resistance. This is a new fungicide resistance mechanism for filamentous fungi.

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