The coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is endemic to Africa and is the most devastating pest of coffee worldwide. The female bores a hole in the coffee berry and deposits her eggs inside. Upon hatching, larvae feed on the seeds, thus reducing both quality and yields of the marketable product. The coffee berry borer was found in the district of Kona on the island of Hawaii in August 2010 and appears to be restricted to that area.
bark beetle; broca; Scolytinae
The coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei, reproduces and feeds exclusively on the mature endosperm of the coffee seed, which has a cell wall composed mainly of a heterogeneous mixture of hemicellulose polysaccharides, including arabinoxylans. Xylanases are digestive enzymes responsible for the degradation of xylan based polymers, hydrolyzing them into smaller molecules that are easier to assimilate by insects. We report the cloning, expression and enzymatic characterization of a xylanase gene that was identified in the digestive tract of the coffee berry borer.
The complete DNA sequence encoding a H. hampei xylanase (HhXyl) was obtained using a genome walking technique in a cDNA library derived from the borer digestive tract. The XIP-I gene was amplified from wheat (Triticum aestivum variety Soisson). A Pichia pastoris expression system was used to express the recombinant form of these enzymes. The xylanase activity and XIP-I inhibitory activity was quantified by the 3,5-dinitrosalicylic (DNS). The biological effects of XIP-I on borer individuals were evaluated by providing an artificial diet enriched with the recombinant XIP-I protein to the insects.
The borer xylanase sequence contains a 951 bp open reading frame that is predicted to encode a 317-amino acid protein, with an estimated molecular weight of 34.92 kDa and a pI of 4.84. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that HhXyl exhibits high sequence homology with endo-β-D-xylanases of Streptomyces bingchenggensis from glycosyl hydrolase 10 (GH10). The recombinant xylanase showed maximal activity at pH 5.5 and 37°C. XIP-I expressed as a recombinant protein inhibited HhXyl activity in vitro and caused individual H. hampei mortality in bioassays when included as a supplement in artificial diets.
A xylanase from the digestive tract of the coffee berry borer was identified and functionally characterized. A xylanase inhibitor protein, XIP-I, from wheat was shown to be a potent inhibitor of this xylanase, suggesting that its deployment has potential as a strategy to control coffee berry borer colonization of coffee plants.
Two isolates of fungal entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) were grown on cooked rice using diphasic liquid-solid fermentation in plastic bags to produce and harvest spore powder. The cultures were dried and significant differences were found for isolates and time of harvest. The spores were harvested manually and mechanically and after the cultures were dried for nine days, when moisture content was near 10%. After harvesting, spores were submitted to quality control to assess concentration, germination, purity, moisture content, particle size and pathogenicity to the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei (Ferrari) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Spore productivity on cooked rice was less than 1×1010 spores/g using both manually and mechanically harvesting methodologies. Germination at 24 hours was over 75% and pathogenicity against H. hampei was over 92.5%. This methodology is suitable for laboratory and field studies, but not for industrial production when a high concentration of spores are required for formulation and field applications.
spore harvesting; germination; pathogenicity; broca
The negative effects of climate change are already evident for many of the 25 million coffee farmers across the tropics and the 90 billion dollar (US) coffee industry. The coffee berry borer (Hypothenemus hampei), the most important pest of coffee worldwide, has already benefited from the temperature rise in East Africa: increased damage to coffee crops and expansion in its distribution range have been reported. In order to anticipate threats and prioritize management actions for H. hampei we present here, maps on future distributions of H. hampei in coffee producing areas of East Africa. Using the CLIMEX model we relate present-day insect distributions to current climate and then project the fitted climatic envelopes under future scenarios A2A and B2B (for HADCM3 model). In both scenarios, the situation with H. hampei is forecasted to worsen in the current Coffea arabica producing areas of Ethiopia, the Ugandan part of the Lake Victoria and Mt. Elgon regions, Mt. Kenya and the Kenyan side of Mt. Elgon, and most of Rwanda and Burundi. The calculated hypothetical number of generations per year of H. hampei is predicted to increase in all C. arabica-producing areas from five to ten. These outcomes will have serious implications for C. arabica production and livelihoods in East Africa. We suggest that the best way to adapt to a rise of temperatures in coffee plantations could be via the introduction of shade trees in sun grown plantations. The aims of this study are to fill knowledge gaps existing in the coffee industry, and to draft an outline for the development of an adaptation strategy package for climate change on coffee production. An abstract in Spanish is provided as Abstract S1.
Coffee is predicted to be severely affected by climate change. We determined the thermal tolerance of the coffee berry borer , Hypothenemus hampei, the most devastating pest of coffee worldwide, and make inferences on the possible effects of climate change using climatic data from Colombia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. For this, the effect of eight temperature regimes (15, 20, 23, 25, 27, 30, 33 and 35°C) on the bionomics of H. hampei was studied. Successful egg to adult development occurred between 20–30°C. Using linear regression and a modified Logan model, the lower and upper thresholds for development were estimated at 14.9 and 32°C, respectively. In Kenya and Colombia, the number of pest generations per year was considerably and positively correlated with the warming tolerance. Analysing 32 years of climatic data from Jimma (Ethiopia) revealed that before 1984 it was too cold for H. hampei to complete even one generation per year, but thereafter, because of rising temperatures in the area, 1–2 generations per year/coffee season could be completed. Calculated data on warming tolerance and thermal safety margins of H. hampei for the three East African locations showed considerably high variability compared to the Colombian site. The model indicates that for every 1°C rise in thermal optimum (Topt.), the maximum intrinsic rate of increase (rmax) will increase by an average of 8.5%. The effects of climate change on the further range of H. hampei distribution and possible adaption strategies are discussed. Abstracts in Spanish and French are provided as supplementary material Abstract S1 and Abstract S2.
Despite the fact that coffee rust was first investigated scientifically more than a century ago, and that the disease is one of the major constraints to coffee production - constantly changing the socio-economic and historical landscape of the crop - critical aspects of the life cycle of the pathogen, Hemileia vastatrix, remain unclear. The asexual urediniospores are regarded as the only functional propagule: theoretically, making H. vastatrix a clonal species. However, the well-documented emergence of new rust pathotypes and the breakdown in genetic resistance of coffee cultivars, present a paradox.
Methods and Results
Here, using computer-assisted DNA image cytometry, following a modified nuclear stoichiometric staining technique with Feulgen, we show that meiosis occurs within the urediniospores. Stages of spore development were categorised based on morphology, from the spore-mother cell through to the germinating spore, and the relative nuclear DNA content was quantified statistically at each stage.
Hidden sexual reproduction disguised within the asexual spore (cryptosexuality) could explain why new physiological races have arisen so often and so quickly in Hemileia vastatrix. This could have considerable implications for coffee breeding strategies and may be a common event in rust fungi, especially in related genera occupying the same basal phylogenetic lineages.
Leaf rust, which is caused by the fungus Hemileia vastatrix (Pucciniales), is a devastating disease that affects coffee plants (Coffea arabica L.). Disadvantages that are associated with currently developed phytoprotection approaches have recently led to the search for alternative strategies. These include genetic manipulations that constitutively activate disease resistance signaling pathways. However, molecular actors of such pathways still remain unknown in C. arabica. In this study, we have isolated and characterized the coffee NDR1 gene, whose Arabidopsis ortholog is a well-known master regulator of the hypersensitive response that is dependent on coiled-coil type R-proteins.
Two highly homologous cDNAs coding for putative NDR1 proteins were identified and cloned from leaves of coffee plants. One of the candidate coding sequences was then expressed in the Arabidopsis knock-out null mutant ndr1-1. Upon a challenge with a specific strain of the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae (DC3000::AvrRpt2), analysis of both macroscopic symptoms and in planta microbial growth showed that the coffee cDNA was able to restore the resistance phenotype in the mutant genetic background. Thus, the cDNA was dubbed CaNDR1a (standing for Coffea arabica Non-race specific Disease Resistance 1a). Finally, biochemical and microscopy data were obtained that strongly suggest the mechanistic conservation of the NDR1-driven function within coffee and Arabidopsis plants. Using a transient expression system, it was indeed shown that the CaNDR1a protein, like its Arabidopsis counterpart, is localized to the plasma membrane, where it is possibly tethered by means of a GPI anchor.
Our data provide molecular and genetic evidence for the identification of a novel functional NDR1 homolog in plants. As a key regulator initiating hypersensitive signalling pathways, CaNDR1 gene(s) might be target(s) of choice for manipulating the coffee innate immune system and achieving broad spectrum resistance to pathogens. Given the potential conservation of NDR1-dependent defense mechanisms between Arabidopsis and coffee plants, our work also suggests new ways to isolate the as-yet-unidentified R-gene(s) responsible for resistance to H. vastatrix.
Coffee is an important crop and is crucial to the economy of many developing countries, generating around US$70 billion per year. There are 115 species in the Coffea genus, but only two, C. arabica and C. canephora, are commercially cultivated. Coffee plants are attacked by many pathogens and insect-pests, which affect not only the production of coffee but also its grain quality, reducing the commercial value of the product. The main insect-pest, the coffee berry borer (Hypotheneumus hampei), is responsible for worldwide annual losses of around US$500 million. The coffee berry borer exclusively damages the coffee berries, and it is mainly controlled by organochlorine insecticides that are both toxic and carcinogenic. Unfortunately, natural resistance in the genus Coffea to H. hampei has not been documented. To overcome these problems, biotechnological strategies can be used to introduce an α-amylase inhibitor gene (α-AI1), which confers resistance against the coffee berry borer insect-pest, into C. arabica plants.
We transformed C. arabica with the α-amylase inhibitor-1 gene (α-AI1) from the common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris, under control of the seed-specific phytohemagglutinin promoter (PHA-L). The presence of the α-AI1 gene in six regenerated transgenic T1 coffee plants was identified by PCR and Southern blotting. Immunoblotting and ELISA experiments using antibodies against α-AI1 inhibitor showed a maximum α-AI1 concentration of 0.29% in crude seed extracts. Inhibitory in vitro assays of the α-AI1 protein against H. hampei α-amylases in transgenic seed extracts showed up to 88% inhibition of enzyme activity.
This is the first report showing the production of transgenic coffee plants with the biotechnological potential to control the coffee berry borer, the most important insect-pest of crop coffee.
Global environmental changes (GEC) such as climate change (CC) and climate variability have serious impacts in the tropics, particularly in Africa. These are compounded by changes in land use/land cover, which in turn are driven mainly by economic and population growth, and urbanization. These factors create a feedback loop, which affects ecosystems and particularly ecosystem services, for example plant-insect interactions, and by consequence agricultural productivity. We studied effects of GEC at a local level, using a traditional coffee production area in greater Nairobi, Kenya. We chose coffee, the most valuable agricultural commodity worldwide, as it generates income for 100 million people, mainly in the developing world. Using the coffee berry borer, the most serious biotic threat to global coffee production, we show how environmental changes and different production systems (shaded and sun-grown coffee) can affect the crop. We combined detailed entomological assessments with historic climate records (from 1929–2011), and spatial and demographic data, to assess GEC's impact on coffee at a local scale. Additionally, we tested the utility of an adaptation strategy that is simple and easy to implement. Our results show that while interactions between CC and migration/urbanization, with its resultant landscape modifications, create a feedback loop whereby agroecosystems such as coffee are adversely affected, bio-diverse shaded coffee proved far more resilient and productive than coffee grown in monoculture, and was significantly less harmed by its insect pest. Thus, a relatively simple strategy such as shading coffee can tremendously improve resilience of agro-ecosystems, providing small-scale farmers in Africa with an easily implemented tool to safeguard their livelihoods in a changing climate.
Fifty Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) strains isolated from the coffee berry borer were used to develop a novel screening method aimed at selecting strains with the highest biocontrol potential. The screening method is based on percent insect mortality, average survival time, mortality distribution, percent spore germination, fungal life cycle duration, and spore production on the insect. Based on these parameters, only 11 strains merited further study. The use of a sound scientific protocol for the selection of promising fungal entomopathogens should lead to more efficient use of time, labor, and financial resources in biological control programs.
Hypothenemus hampei; coffee berry borer; broca; Beauveria; bioassays
The ability of rumen ciliates to digest chitin is clearly recognized. We investigated the chitinolytic system of the rumen ciliate Eudiplodinium maggii. The ciliates were grown in a selectively faunated sheep. They were isolated from the rumen and purified by sedimentation. A crude enzyme preparation was prepared following incubation of ciliates with antibiotics. This was done in order to reduce their contamination with intracellular bacteria. The activity of particular enzymes was examined by quantification of the products released from specific substrates. It was stated that the optimum conditions for the detected activities varied between 4.5 and 5.5 pH, and 45 and 55 °C. β-N-Acetylglucosaminidase was found as an enzyme of the highest activity (4.2 μmol/l released product per mg protein per h). The activities of endochitinase and exochitinase were almost two times lower than that of β-N-acetylglucosaminidase. Zymographic studies revealed the presence of two endochitinases, two exochitinases and two β-N-acetylglucosaminidases in the examined preparation.
Extracellular chitinases have been suggested to be virulence factors in fungal entomopathogenicity. We employed isoelectric focusing and a set of three fluorescent substrates to investigate the numbers and types of chitinolytic enzymes produced by the entomopathogenic fungi Metarhizium anisopliae, Metarhizium flavoviride, and Beauveria bassiana. Each species produced a variety of N-acetyl-(beta)-d-glucosaminidases and endochitinases during growth in media containing insect cuticle. M. flavoviride also produced 1,4-(beta)-chitobiosidases. The endochitinases could be divided according to whether they had basic or acidic isoelectric points. In contrast to those of the other two species, the predominant endochitinases of M. anisopliae were acidic, with isoelectric points of about 4.8. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis resolved the acidic chitinases of M. anisopliae into two major bands (43.5 and 45 kDa) with identical N-terminal sequences (AGGYVNAVYFY TNGLYLSNYQPA) similar to an endochitinase from the mycoparasite Trichoderma harzianum. Use of polyclonal antibodies to the 45-kDa isoform and ultrastructural immunocytochemistry enabled us to visualize chitinase production during penetration of the host (Manduca sexta) cuticle. Chitinase was produced at very low levels by infection structures on the cuticle surface and during the initial penetration of the cuticle, but much greater levels of chitinase accumulated in zones of proteolytic degradation, which suggests that the release of the chitinase is dependent on the accessibility of its substrate.
To provide a convenient and sensitive method for the detection of equine arteritis virus (EAV)-specific serum antibodies, we developed an immunoblot assay employing the EAV nucleocapsid (N) and membrane (M) proteins expressed in a procaryotic expression vector (pMAL-c2) for the production of recombinant maltose-binding (MBP) fusion proteins (MBP-N and MBP-M). The antigenic reactivity of the recombinant fusion proteins and their Xa factor cleavage EAV products was confirmed by immunoblot using horse antisera to EAV. Some horse sera, however, showed immune reactivity to the MBP fusion partner protein. Based on a total of 32 horse sera analyzed for the presence of EAV antibodies by immunoblot, using the MBP-N or -M fusion proteins and the Xa factor cleavage EAV products, and in the serum neutralization test, there was 100% concordance between the assays. Sera from horses experimentally infected with EAV were reactive in the immunoblot test with both the MBP-N and the MBP-M fusion proteins by day 14 after EAV exposure. The reactivity continued to the end of the experiment at day 145 after infection. This immune reactivity correlated with the detection of neutralizing antibodies in the serum samples. Based on these findings, the recombinant N and M proteins might be useful for serodetection of EAV-infected animals.
Most disease-resistance (R) genes in plants encode NBS-LRR proteins and belong to one of the largest and most variable gene families among plant genomes. However, the specific evolutionary routes of NBS-LRR encoding genes remain elusive. Recently in coffee tree (Coffea arabica), a region spanning the SH3 locus that confers resistance to coffee leaf rust, one of the most serious coffee diseases, was identified and characterized. Using comparative sequence analysis, the purpose of the present study was to gain insight into the genomic organization and evolution of the SH3 locus.
Sequence analysis of the SH3 region in three coffee genomes, Ea and Ca subgenomes from the allotetraploid C. arabica and Cc genome from the diploid C. canephora, revealed the presence of 5, 3 and 4 R genes in Ea, Ca, and Cc genomes, respectively. All these R-gene sequences appeared to be members of a CC-NBS-LRR (CNL) gene family that was only found at the SH3 locus in C. arabica. Furthermore, while homologs were found in several dicot species, comparative genomic analysis failed to find any CNL R-gene in the orthologous regions of other eudicot species. The orthology relationship among the SH3-CNL copies in the three analyzed genomes was determined and the duplication/deletion events that shaped the SH3 locus were traced back. Gene conversion events were detected between paralogs in all three genomes and also between the two sub-genomes of C. arabica. Significant positive selection was detected in the solvent-exposed residues of the SH3-CNL copies.
The ancestral SH3-CNL copy was inserted in the SH3 locus after the divergence between Solanales and Rubiales lineages. Moreover, the origin of most of the SH3-CNL copies predates the divergence between Coffea species. The SH3-CNL family appeared to evolve following the birth-and-death model, since duplications and deletions were inferred in the evolution of the SH3 locus. Gene conversion between paralog members, inter-subgenome sequence exchanges and positive selection appear to be the major forces acting on the evolution of SH3-CNL in coffee trees.
Leishmania infantum HSP70 has been described as an immunodominant antigen in both humans and dogs suffering from visceral leishmaniasis. In this study, we used L. infantum HSP70 fused to Escherichia coli maltose-binding protein (MBP), as the reporter protein, to analyze the influence of HSP70 on the immunogenicity of MBP in BALB/c mice. Plasmids were constructed to produce the three recombinant proteins used in this study, namely, MBP, L. infantum HSP70, and MBP-HSP70, which consists of MBP fused to the L. infantum HSP70 amino terminus. Immunization of BALB/c mice with the MBP-HSP70 fusion protein elicited humoral and cellular responses against MBP that were higher by an order of magnitude than those elicited by immunization with MBP alone or with a mixture of MBP and HSP70. Covalent linkage of MBP to HSP70 was essential for eliciting a strong anti-MBP immune response. Cytokine secretion and immunoglobulin G isotype analyses indicated that immunization with the MBP-HSP70 fusion protein preferentially induces a Th1 immune response. Immunization of athymic nu/nu mice with the MBP-HSP70 fusion protein unexpectedly gave rise to an anti-MBP humoral response showing features of a T-cell-dependent response. Thus, we present evidence that L. infantum HSP70 demonstrates an adjuvant effect in the immune response against a covalently linked reporter protein.
In the present work, we examined the insecticidal effect of spinosad, against adults of the lesser grain borer, Rhyzopertha dominica (F.) (Coleoptera: Bostrychidae), the rice weevil, Sitophilus oryzae (L.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), the confused flour beetle, Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) on wheat and the larger grain borer, Prostephanus truncatus (Horn) (Coleoptera: Bostrychidae) on maize. The dose rates used were 0.01, 0.1, 0.5 and 1 ppm. The bioassays were carried out at three temperatures, 20, 25 and 30°C and two relative humidity levels, 55 and 75%. Mortality of R. dominica and S. oryzae was high even at 0.01 ppm of spinosad, reaching 100% at 55% relative humidity and 30° after 21 days of exposure. Generally, mortality of R. dominica, increased with temperature while for S. oryzae mortality increased with temperature and with the decrease of relative humidity. Moreover, for S. oryzae, mortality was low at 20°C. In the case of T. confusum, mortality was low at doses between 0.01 and 0.5 ppm even after 21 days of exposure. At 1 ppm, mortality exceeded 90% only at 30°C and only after 21 days of exposure. Mortality of P. truncatus was low on maize treated with 0.01 ppm, but increasing the dose to 0.1 ppm resulted in > 87% mortality after 14 days of exposure. In several combinations tested, spinosad efficacy notably varied according to the temperature and humidity regimes. Of the species tested, R. dominica and P. truncatus were very susceptible to spinosad, followed by S. oryzae, while T. confusum was the least susceptible.
spinosad; wheat; maize; abiotic conditions; grain protectants; Rhyzopertha dominica; Sitophilus oryzae; Tribolium confusum; Prostephanus truncatus
This study investigated the impact of constitutively expressed Trichoderma atroviride genes encoding exochitinase nag70 or endochitinase ech42 in transgenic lines of the apple cultivar Pinova on the symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF). We compared the exo- and endochitinase activities of leaves and roots from non-transgenic Pinova and the transgenic lines T386 and T389. Local and systemic effects were examined using own-rooted trees and trees grafted onto rootstock M9. Scab susceptibility was also assessed in own-rooted and grafted trees. AMF root colonization was assessed microscopically in the roots of apple trees cultivated in pots with artificial substrate and inoculated with the AMF Glomus intraradices and Glomus mosseae. Own-rooted transgenic lines had significantly higher chitinase activities in their leaves and roots compared to non-transgenic Pinova. Both of the own-rooted transgenic lines showed significantly fewer symptoms of scab infection as well as significantly lower root colonization by AMF. Biomass production was significantly reduced in both own-rooted transgenic lines. Rootstock M9 influenced chitinase activities in the leaves of grafted scions. When grafted onto M9, the leaf chitinase activities of non-transgenic Pinova (M9/Pinova) and transgenic lines (M9/T386 and M9/T389) were not as different as when grown on their own roots. M9/T386 and M9/T389 were only temporarily less infected by scab than M9/Pinova. M9/T386 and M9/T389 did not differ significantly from M9/Pinova in their root chitinase activities, AMF root colonization and biomass.
apple; chitinase; mycorrhiza; transgenic
Two SDS-resistant endochitinases, designated as ASCHI53 and ASCHI61, were isolated from Aeromonas schubertii in a soil sample from southern Taiwan. MALDI-TOF mass measurement indicates the molecular weights of 53,527 for ASCHI53 and 61,202 for ASCHI61. N-terminal and internal amino acid sequences were obtained, and BLAST analysis of the sequences and MS/MS peptide sequencing showed that they were novel proteins. Degradation of chitin by these two endochitinases gave rise to hexameric chitin oligosaccharide, a compound known to have several potent biomedical functions. ASCHI53 and ASCHI61 retained, respectively, 65% and 75%, of their chitinase activity in the presence of 5% SDS and 100% of their activity in the presence of 10% β-mercaptoethanol. These results demonstrate that they are SDS-resistant endochitinases and probably have a rigid structure.
N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (GlcNAc); Aeromonas schubertii; endochitinase; hexameric chitin oligosaccharide; SDS-resistance; in-gel chitinase assay
The rice water weevil (RWW) Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus Kuschel (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is an invasive insect pest of rice Oryza sativa L. in China. Little is known about the interactions of this weevil with indigenous herbivores. In the present study, adult feeding and population density of the weevil, injury level of striped stem borer Chilo suppressalis (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and pink stem borer Sesamia inferens (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) to rice, as well as growth status of their host plants were surveyed in a rice field located in Southeastern Zhejiang, China, in 2004 with the objective to discover interspecific interactions on the rice. At tillering stage, both adult feeding of the weevil and injury of the stem borers tended to occur on larger tillers (bearing 5 leaves) compared with small tillers (bearing 2~4 leaves), but the insects showed no evident competition with each other. At booting stage, the stem borers caused more withering/dead hearts and the weevil reached a higher density on the plants which had more productive tillers and larger root system; the number of weevils per tiller correlated negatively with the percentage of withering/dead hearts of plants in a hill. These observations indicate that interspecific interactions exist between the rice water weevil and the rice stem borers with negative relations occurring at booting or earlier developmental stages of rice.
Chilo suppressalis; Interspecific interaction; Lissorhoptrus oryzophilus; Sesamia inferens; Stem borer; Weevil
Regulation of the expression of the two major chitinase genes, ech42 (encoding the CHIT42 endochitinase) and nag1 (encoding the CHIT73 N-acetyl-β-d-glucosaminidase), of the chitinolytic system of the mycoparasitic biocontrol fungus Trichoderma atroviride (= Trichoderma harzianum P1) was investigated by using a reporter system based on the Aspergillus niger glucose oxidase. Strains harboring fusions of the ech42 or nag1 5′ upstream noncoding sequences with the A. niger goxA gene displayed a glucose oxidase activity pattern that was consistent under various conditions with expression of the native ech42 and nag1 genes, as assayed by Northern analysis. The expression product of goxA in the mutants was completely secreted into the medium, detectable on Western blots, and quantifiable by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. nag1 gene expression was triggered during growth on fungal (Botrytis cinerea) cell walls and on the chitin degradation product N-acetylglucosamine. N-Acetylglucosamine, di-N-acetylchitobiose, or tri-N-acetylchitotriose also induced nag1 gene expression when added to mycelia pregrown on different carbon sources. ech42 expression was also observed during growth on fungal cell walls but, in contrast, was not triggered by addition of chitooligomers to pregrown mycelia. Significant ech42 expression was observed after prolonged carbon starvation, independent of the use of glucose or glycerol as a carbon source, suggesting that relief of carbon catabolite repression was not involved in induction during starvation. In addition, ech42 gene transcription was triggered by physiological stress, such as low temperature, high osmotic pressure, or the addition of ethanol. Four copies of a putative stress response element (CCCCT) were found in the ech42 promoter.
The human mannose-binding protein (MBP) is a multimeric serum protein that is divided into three domains, a cysteine-rich NH2-terminal domain that stabilizes the collagen alpha helix of the second domain and a third COOH-terminal carbohydrate recognition domain. Previous studies have shown that both native and recombinant human MBP bind to wild-type virulent Salmonella montevideo that expresses a mannose-rich lipopolysaccharide. Interaction with MBP results in opsonization and killing by phagocytes. In this report we show that low concentration of MBP (less than 10 micrograms/ml) markedly enhance complement deposition via the alternative complement pathway on S. montevideo. Despite structural similarities between MBP and the C1q subcomponent of the first complement component, MBP did not restore classical pathway activity to C1q-deficient serum, nor did it activate C1s when added to a mixture of C1r and C1s. In the presence of MBP the C3 bound to S. montevideo during incubation in serum was in the form of C3b and iC3b at a ratio of 1:2. Presensitization of S. montevideo with MBP rendered this normally serum resistant organism susceptible to complement-mediated killing. These results emphasize that MBP and complement cooperate in first line defense of the nonimmune host.
The human mannose-binding protein (MBP) is a multimeric serum protein that is divided into three domains: a cysteine-rich NH2-terminal domain that stabilizes the alpha-helix of the second collagen-like domain, and a third COOH-terminal carbohydrate binding region. The function of MBP is unknown, although a role in host defense is suggested by its ability to bind yeast mannans. In this report we show that native and recombinant human MBP can serve in an opsonic role in serum and thereby enhance clearance of mannose rich pathogens by phagocytes. MBP binds to wild-type virulent Salmonella montevideo that express a mannose-rich O- polysaccharide. Interaction of MBP with these organisms results in attachment, uptake, and killing of the opsonized bacteria by phagocytes. These results demonstrate that MBP plays a role in first line host defense against certain pathogenic organisms.
Beauveria bassiana is a biocontrol agent which shows entomopathogenecity on insect pests especially the Lepidopterons invading the agriculturally important crops. The mode of infection is through the cuticle by degrading the chitin present on it which is enabled by the exochitinase enzyme of Bbchit1 gene. A good quality genomic DNA was isolated from Beauveria bassiana NCIM 1216 and amplified with specific primers to isolate the gene corresponding to Bbchit1 which codes for the exochitinase enzyme that is responsible for pathogenesis. The Bbchit1 gene of B. bassiana was transformed with the binary plasmid pBANF-bar-pAN-Bbchit1, in which the Bbchit1 gene was placed downstream of the constitutive gpd promoter, which was mediated by A. tumefaciens, and transformants were selected on the basis of herbicide resistance. Fifty herbicide resistant colonies were obtained and analyzed. The exochitinase produced by these transformants was observed maximum on the 7th day of inoculation in both which was 0.09 μmol/ml/min for the purified fraction and 0.06 μmol/ml/min for the crude extract. The chitinolytic activity was observed maximum at pH 5 and at temperature of 40°C. The genetically modified pure form can be used in the production of transgenic plants and in bringing out commercial formulation for the control of Lepidopteran pests.
Beauveria bassiana; Bbchit1; Exochitinase
The immune response to dystrophin-deficient muscle promotes the pathology of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and the mdx mouse model of DMD. In this investigation, we find that the release of major basic protein (MBP) by eosinophils is a prominent feature of DMD and mdx dystrophy and that eosinophils lyse muscle cells in vitro by the release of MBP-1. We also show that eosinophil depletions of mdx mice by injections of anti-chemokine receptor-3 reduce muscle cell lysis, although lysis of mdx muscle membranes is not reduced by null mutation of MBP-1 in vivo. However, ablation of MBP-1 expression in mdx mice produces other effects on muscular dystrophy. First, fibrosis of muscle and hearts, a major cause of mortality in DMD, is greatly reduced by null mutation of MBP-1 in mdx mice. Furthermore, either ablation of MBP-1 or eosinophil depletion causes large increases in cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs) in mdx muscles. The increase in CTLs in MBP-1-null mice does not reflect a general shift toward a Th1 inflammatory response, because the mutation had no significant effect on the expression of interferon-gamma, inducible nitric oxide synthase or tumor necrosis factor. Rather, MBP-1 reduces the activation and proliferation of splenocytes in vitro, indicating that MBP-1 acts in a more specific immunomodulatory role to affect the inflammatory response in muscular dystrophy. Together, these findings show that eosinophil-derived MBP-1 plays a significant role in regulating muscular dystrophy by attenuating the cellular immune response and promoting tissue fibrosis that can eventually contribute to increased mortality.