A Chitinase Encoding Gene (chit1 Gene) from the Entomopathogen Metarhizium anisopliae: Isolation and Characterization of Genomic and Full-Length cDNA
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- Bogo, M., Rota, C., Pinto Jr., H. et al. Curr Microbiol (1998) 37: 221. doi:10.1007/s002849900368
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There are no reports to date of entire gene sequences coding for chitinolytic enzymes from entomopathogenic fungi, even though these enzymes act synergistically with proteolytic enzymes to solubilize insect cuticle during the key step of host penetration, having considerable importance in the biological control of some insect pests. This paper reports the complete nucleotide sequence and analysis of the chromosomal and full-length cDNA copies of the regulated gene (chit1) coding one of the chitinases produced by the biocontrol agent Metarhizium anisopliae. Degenerated primers, encompassing conserved regions of other fungal chitinases, were used to amplify a 650-bp DNA fragment, which was used to isolate genomic and cDNA clones from M. anisopliae. Albeit at least two different chitinases are characterized in this fungus, only one chit gene was isolated. The chit1 gene is interrupted by three short typical fungal introns and has a 1,521-bp ORF, which encodes a protein of 423 amino acids with a stretch of 35 amino acid residues displaying characteristics of signal peptide. The deduced sequence of the mature protein predicts a 42-kDa protein with pI of 5.8. Southern analysis of genomic DNA indicates a single copy of chit1 in the M. anisopliae genome.