Research Article

Differential expression of genes involved in entomopathogenicity of the fungi Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae and M. anisopliae var. acridum (Clavicipitaceae)

Published: May 03, 2011
Genet. Mol. Res. 10 (2) : 769-778 DOI: 10.4238/vol10-2gmr1094

Abstract

Expression analysis of the genes involved in germination, conidiogenisis and pathogenesis of Metarhizium anisopliae during its saprophytic and pathogenic life stages can help plan strategies to increase its efficacy as a biological control agent. We quantified relative expression levels of the nitrogen response regulator gene (nrr1) and a G-protein regulator of genes involved in conidiogenesis (cag8), using an RT-qPCR assay. Comparisons were made between M. anisopliae var. anisopliae and M. anisopliae var. acridum during germination and conidiogenesis and at different stages of pathogenesis. The cag8 gene was repressed during germination and induced during conidial development and the pathogenic phase, and the nrr1 gene was induced during germination, conidiogenesis and the pathogenic phase. Both genes were more expressed in M. anisopliae var. anisopliae, demonstrating that different varieties of M. anisopliae differ in activation of genes linked to virulence for certain environments and hosts. This suggests that differences among these varieties in the ability to adapt could be attributed not only to specific genomic regions and genes, but also to differential gene expression in this fungus, modulating its ability to respond to environmental stimuli.

Expression analysis of the genes involved in germination, conidiogenisis and pathogenesis of Metarhizium anisopliae during its saprophytic and pathogenic life stages can help plan strategies to increase its efficacy as a biological control agent. We quantified relative expression levels of the nitrogen response regulator gene (nrr1) and a G-protein regulator of genes involved in conidiogenesis (cag8), using an RT-qPCR assay. Comparisons were made between M. anisopliae var. anisopliae and M. anisopliae var. acridum during germination and conidiogenesis and at different stages of pathogenesis. The cag8 gene was repressed during germination and induced during conidial development and the pathogenic phase, and the nrr1 gene was induced during germination, conidiogenesis and the pathogenic phase. Both genes were more expressed in M. anisopliae var. anisopliae, demonstrating that different varieties of M. anisopliae differ in activation of genes linked to virulence for certain environments and hosts. This suggests that differences among these varieties in the ability to adapt could be attributed not only to specific genomic regions and genes, but also to differential gene expression in this fungus, modulating its ability to respond to environmental stimuli.