Co-expression of two genes, a chitinase (chit42) and proteinase (prb1), implicated in mycoparasitism by Trichoderma hamatum
Steyaert, Johanna M.; Stewart, Alison; Jaspers, Marlene V.; Carpenter, Margaret A.; Ridgway, Hayley J.
Mycoparasitism of fungal plant pathogens by Trichoderma species is a complex process that involves the production and coordinated secretion of cell-wall degrading enzymes. Genes implicated in mycoparasitism by Trichoderma atroviride contain motifs in the promoter region, designated MYRE1-MYRE4, that are proposed to act as binding sites for a global inducer of the mycoparasitic response. The aim of our study was to establish whether these motifs also were present in Trichoderma hamatum and whether the presence of these motifs could predict co-expression when T. hamatum was confronted by a pathogen. Using a combination of targeted, degenerate and inverse PCR, homologues of the mycoparasitism-related genes ech42 (chit42), prb1 and lam1.3 (xbg1.3-110), which encode an endochitinase, proteinase, and β-1,3-glucanase, respectively, were cloned and sequenced from T. hamatum. Alignment of the promoter regions of the three genes revealed identical regions in the chit42 and prb1 promoters, which were 6–9 base pairs in length and conserved in position. Specifically, the regulator y motifs MYRE1-MYRE4 were fully conserved, together with a fifth motif, identified by this research. A substrate assay designed to investigate the response of these genes from T. harzianum and T. hamatum to a simple carbon source (glycerol) showed that, in contrast to chit42 and prb1, xbg1.3-110 was not expressed. Further comparison of the expression patterns of these three genes between T. harzianum and T. hamatum using the glycerol substrate assay showed that no chit42 or prb1 expression could be detected in T. harzianum when it was grown under the same conditions as T. hamatum. This showed that the response of these genes to glycerol was species specific and that a single expression pattern for these genes was not common to all Trichoderma species. Confrontation assays were used to investigate the response of the three T. hamatum genes to the more complex substrate posed by the fungal pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Once again gene expression analysis showed that both chit42 and prb1 were co-expressed and moderately induced during confrontation against Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. Although xbg1.3-110 previously had been implicated in mycoparasitism by T. harzianum, this study detected no xbg1.3-110 expression during confrontation between T. hamatum and S. sclerotiorum. These findings show that the MYRE1-MYRE4 together with MYRE5 are present in two species of Trichoderma, T. atroviride and T. hamatum and that the presence of these motifs could predict co-expression in response to two carbon sources.... [Show full abstract]