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Arch Microbiol. 2009 Jul;191(7):615-22. doi: 10.1007/s00203-009-0489-4. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Gene-specific disruption in the filamentous fungus Cercospora nicotianae using a split-marker approach.

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School of Chinese Medicine Resources, College of Pharmacy, China Medical University, 91 Hsueh-Shih Road, Taichung 404, Taiwan.


To determine if DNA configuration, gene locus, and flanking sequences will affect homologous recombination in the phytopathogenic fungus Cercospora nicotianae, we evaluated and compared disruption efficiency targeting four cercosporin toxin biosynthetic genes encoding a polyketide synthase (CTB1), a monooxygenase/O-methyltransferase (CTB3), a NADPH-dependent oxidoreductase (CTB5), and a FAD/FMN-dependent oxidoreductase (CTB7). Transformation of C. nicotianae using a circular plasmid resulted in low disruption frequency. The use of endonucleases or a selectable marker DNA fragment flanked by homologous sequence either at one end or at both ends in the transformation procedures, increased disruption efficiency in some but not all CTB genes. A split-marker approach, using two DNA fragments overlapping within the selectable marker, increased the frequency of targeted gene disruption and homologous integration as high as 50%, depending on the target gene and on the length of homologous DNA sequence flanking the selectable marker. The results indicate that the split-marker approach favorably decreased ectopic integration and thus, greatly facilitated targeted gene disruption in this important fungal pathogen.

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