Characterization of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene from Venturia inaequalis
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A new class of agricultural fungicides derived from the group of antifungal strobilurins acts as specific respiration inhibitors by binding to mitochondrial cytochrome b. The cytochrome b gene was cloned and sequenced from the mitochondrial genome of Venturia inaequalis, the causal agent of apple scab. The gene was 10.65 kbp in size and contained seven exons and six introns. The exons encoded a protein of 393 amino acids. Comparison of the deduced amino-acid sequence with cytochrome b proteins from other fungi revealed highest homologies to the respective proteins of Aspergillus nidulans, Podospora anserina and Neurospora crassa. All amino acids of the V. inaequalis cytochrome b at positions altered in mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae resistant to strobilurins, and other fungi with reduced sensitivities to strobilurins, were identical to wild-type isolates of several fungi. The cloning and characterization of the V. inaequalis cytochrome b gene is the initial step in the assessment of resistance risks inherent to the strobilurin fungicides.
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