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Environ Microbiol. 2016 Nov;18(11):4200-4215. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.13544. Epub 2016 Oct 13.

CAZyme content of Pochonia chlamydosporia reflects that chitin and chitosan modification are involved in nematode parasitism.

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Laboratory of Plant Pathology, Department of Marine Sciences and Applied Biology, Multidisciplinary Institute for Environmental Studies Ramón Margalef, University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain.
Architecture et Fonction des Macromolécules Biologiques, CNRS, Aix-Marseille Université, Marseille, France.
INRA, USC 1408 AFMB, Marseille, France.
Department of Biological Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.


Pochonia chlamydosporia is a soil fungus with a multitrophic lifestyle combining endophytic and saprophytic behaviors, in addition to a nematophagous activity directed against eggs of root-knot and other plant parasitic nematodes. The carbohydrate-active enzymes encoded by the genome of P. chlamydosporia suggest that the endophytic and saprophytic lifestyles make use of a plant cell wall polysaccharide degradation machinery that can target cellulose, xylan and, to a lesser extent, pectin. This enzymatic machinery is completed by a chitin breakdown system that involves not only chitinases, but also chitin deacetylases and a large number of chitosanases. P. chlamydosporia can degrade and grow on chitin and is particularly efficient on chitosan. The relevance of chitosan breakdown during nematode egg infection is supported by the immunolocalization of chitosan in Meloidogyne javanica eggs infected by P. chlamydosporia and by the fact that the fungus expresses chitosanase and chitin deacetylase genes during egg infection. This suggests that these enzymes are important for the nematophagous activity of the fungus and they are targets for improving the capabilities of P. chlamydosporia as a biocontrol agent in agriculture.

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