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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1998 Nov;64(11):4149-60.

Sequence and secondary structure of the mitochondrial small-subunit rRNA V4, V6, and V9 domains reveal highly species-specific variations within the genus Agrocybe.

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Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and Breeding of Cultivated Mushrooms, INRA-University Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2, 33883 Villenave d'Ornon Cédex, France.


A comparative study of variable domains V4, V6, and V9 of the mitochondrial small-subunit (SSU) rRNA was carried out with the genus Agrocybe by PCR amplification of 42 wild isolates belonging to 10 species, Agrocybe aegerita, Agrocybe dura, Agrocybe chaxingu, Agrocybe erebia, Agrocybe firma, Agrocybe praecox, Agrocybe paludosa, Agrocybe pediades, Agrocybe alnetorum, and Agrocybe vervacti. Sequencing of the PCR products showed that the three domains in the isolates belonging to the same species were the same length and had the same sequence, while variations were found among the 10 species. Alignment of the sequences showed that nucleotide motifs encountered in the smallest sequence of each variable domain were also found in the largest sequence, indicating that the sequences evolved by insertion-deletion events. Determination of the secondary structure of each domain revealed that the insertion-deletion events commonly occurred in regions not directly involved in the secondary structure (i.e., the loops). Moreover, conserved sequences ranging from 4 to 25 nucleotides long were found at the beginning and end of each domain and could constitute genus-specific sequences. Comparisons of the V4, V6, and V9 secondary structures resulted in identification of the following four groups: (i) group I, which was characterized by the presence of additional P23-1 and P23-3 helices in the V4 domain and the lack of the P49-1 helix in V9 and included A. aegerita, A. chaxingu, and A. erebia; (ii) group II, which had the P23-3 helix in V4 and the P49-1 helix in V9 and included A. pediades; (iii) group III, which did not have additional helices in V4, had the P49-1 helix in V9 and included A. paludosa, A. firma, A. alnetorum, and A. praecox; and (iv) group IV, which lacked both the V4 additional helices and the P49-1 helix in V9 and included A. vervacti and A. dura. This grouping of species was supported by the structure of a consensus tree based on the variable domain sequences. The conservation of the sequences of the V4, V6, and V9 domains of the mitochondrial SSU rRNA within species and the high degree of interspecific variation found in the Agrocybe species studied open the way for these sequences to be used as specific molecular markers of the Basidiomycota.

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