Identification of growth stage molecular markers in Trichoderma sp. ‘atroviride type B’ and their potential application in monitoring fungal growth and development in soil

Mendoza-Mendoza, A
Steyaert, JM
Nieto-Jacobo, MF
Holyoake, AJ
Braithwaite, M
Stewart, A
Journal Article
Fields of Research
ANZSRC::0605 Microbiology , ANZSRC::060504 Microbial Ecology , ANZSRC::0503 Soil Sciences , ANZSRC::050303 Soil Biology
© 2015 The Authors. Several members of the genus Trichoderma are biocontrol agents of soil-borne fungal plant pathogens. The effectiveness of biocontrol agents depends heavily on how they perform in the complex field environment. Therefore, the ability to monitor and track Trichoderma within the environment is essential to understanding biocontrol efficacy. The objectives of this work were to: (a) identify key genes involved in Trichoderma sp. ‘atroviride type B’ morphogenesis, (b) develop a robust RNA isolation method from soil, and (c) develop molecular marker assays for characterizing morphogenesis whilst in the soil environment. Four cDNA libraries corresponding to conidia, germination, vegetative growth and conidiogenesis were created, and the genes identified by sequencing. Stage specificity of the different genes was confirmed by either Northern blot or quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis using RNA from the four stages. con10, a conidial-specific gene, was observed in conidia, as well as one gene also involved in subsequent stages of germination (L-lactate/malate dehydrogenase encoding gene). The germination stage revealed high expression rates of genes involved in amino acid and protein biosynthesis, while in the vegetative-growth stage, genes involved in differentiation, including the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase similar to Kpp7 from Ustilago maydis and the orthologue to stuA from Aspergillus nidulans, were preferentially expressed. Genes involved in cell-wall synthesis were expressed during conidiogenesis. We standardized total RNA isolation from Trichoderma sp. ‘atroviride type B’ growing in soil and then examined the expression profiles of selected genes using qRT-PCR. The results suggested that the relative expression patterns were cyclic and not accumulative.
© 2015 The Authors
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