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Microbiology. 2003 Jan;149(Pt 1):239-47.

Expressed sequence tag (EST) analysis of two subspecies of Metarhizium anisopliae reveals a plethora of secreted proteins with potential activity in insect hosts.

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1
Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, 4112 Plant Sciences Building, College Park, MD 20742, USA.

Abstract

Expressed sequence tag (EST) libraries for Metarhizium anisopliae, the causative agent of green muscardine disease, were developed from the broad host-range pathogen Metarhizium anisopliae sf. anisopliae and the specific grasshopper pathogen, M. anisopliae sf. acridum. Approximately 1,700 5' end sequences from each subspecies were generated from cDNA libraries representing fungi grown under conditions that maximize secretion of cuticle-degrading enzymes. Both subspecies had ESTs for virtually all pathogenicity-related genes cloned to date from M. anisopliae, but many novel genes encoding potential virulence factors were also tagged. Enzymes with potential targets in the insect host included proteases, chitinases, phospholipases, lipases, esterases, phosphatases and enzymes producing toxic secondary metabolites. A diverse array of proteases composed 36 % of all M. anisopliae sf. anisopliae ESTs. Eighty percent of the ESTs that could be clustered into functional groups had significant matches (E<10(-5)) in other ascomycete fungi. These included genes reported to have specific roles in pathogens with plant or vertebrate hosts. Many of the remaining ESTs had their best BLAST match among animal, plant and bacterial sequences. These include genes with plant and microbial counterparts that produce potent antimicrobials. The abundance of transcripts discovered for different functional groups varied between the two subspecies of M. anisopliae in a manner consistent with ecological adaptations of the two pathogens. By hastening gene discovery this project has enhanced development of improved mycoinsecticides. In addition, the M. anisopliae ESTs represent a significant contribution to the extensive database of sequences from ascomycetes that are saprophytes or plant and vertebrate pathogens. Comparative analyses of these sequences is providing important information about the biology and evolutionary history of this clade.

PMID:
12576597
DOI:
10.1099/mic.0.25761-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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