Microbiology

, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 306–310 | Cite as

Screening for Ergot Alkaloid Producers among Microscopic Fungi by Means of the Polymerase Chain Reaction

  • L. V. Boichenko
  • D. M. Boichenko
  • N. G. Vinokurova
  • T. A. Reshetilova
  • M. U. Arinbasarov

Abstract

The potential of the polymerase chain reaction for the detection of ergot alkaloid producers among microscopic fungi of the generaPenicilliumand Clavicepswas evaluated. Twenty-three strains of various species of fungi with a previously studied capacity for alkaloid production were used. The internal fragment of the gene encoding 4-dimethylallyltryptophan synthase, the enzyme catalyzing the first step in the biosynthesis of ergot alkaloids, was amplified using degenerate primers. This approach revealed an about 1.2-kb specific DNA fragment in micromycetes synthesizing ergot alkaloids with complete tetracyclic ergoline system. Microorganisms that produce alkaloids with modified C or D ergoline rings, as well as α-cyclopiazonic acid, did not yield the PCR fragment of the expected size. This fragment was also not found in fungi incapable of ergot alkaloid production.

alkaloids microscopic fungi PCR screening 

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Copyright information

© MAIK “Nauka/Interperiodica” 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. V. Boichenko
    • 1
  • D. M. Boichenko
    • 1
  • N. G. Vinokurova
    • 1
  • T. A. Reshetilova
    • 1
  • M. U. Arinbasarov
    • 1
  1. 1.Skryabin Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Microorganisms, Russian Academy of SciencesPushchino, Moscow oblastRussia

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