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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1996 Sep;62(9):3432-8.

Identification of some ectomycorrhizal basidiomycetes by PCR amplification of their gpd (glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) genes.

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  • 1Abteilung für Mikrobielle Biochemie, Technische Universität Wien, Vienna, Austria.


Degenerated oligonucleotide primers designed to flank an approximately 1.2-kb fragment of the gene encoding glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gpd) from ascomycetes and basidiomycetes were used to amplify the corresponding gpd fragments from several species of the ectomycorrhizal fungal taxa Boletus, Amanita, and Lactarius. Those from B. edulis, A. muscaria, and L. deterrimus were cloned and sequenced. The respective nucleotide sequences of these gene fragments showed a moderate degree of similarity (72 to 76%) in the protein-encoding regions and only a low degree of similarity in the introns (56 to 66%). Introns, where present, occurred at conserved positions, but the respective positions and numbers of introns in a given taxon varied. The amplified fragment from a given taxon could be distinguished from that of others by both restriction nuclease cleavage analysis and Southern hybridization. A procedure for labeling DNA probes with fluorescein-12-dUTP by PCR was developed. These probes were used in a nonradioactive hybridization assay, with which the gene could be detected in 2 ng of chromosomal DNA of L. deterrimus on slot blots. Taxon-specific amplification was achieved by the design of specific oligonucleotide primers. The application of the gpd gene for the identification of mycorrhizal fungi under field conditions was demonstrated, with Picea abies (spruce) mycorrhizal roots harvested from a northern alpine forest area as well as from a plant-breeding nursery. The interference by inhibitory substances, which sometimes occurred in the DNA extracted from the root-fungus mixture, could be overcome by using very diluted concentrations of template DNA for a first round of PCR amplification followed by a second round with nested oligonucleotide primers. We conclude that gpd can be used to detect ectomycorrhizal fungi during symbiotic interaction.

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