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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

Print version ISSN 1517-8382On-line version ISSN 1678-4405


DIAS, B.A.; NEVES, P.M.O.J.; FURLANETO-MAIA, L.  and  FURLANETO, M.C.. Cuticle-degrading proteases produced by the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana in the presence ofcoffee berry borer cuticle. Braz. J. Microbiol. [online]. 2008, vol.39, n.2, pp.301-306. ISSN 1517-8382.

A Brazilian isolate of Beauveria bassiana (CG425) that shows high virulence against the coffee berry borer (CBB) was examined for the production of subtilisin-like (Pr1) and trypsin-like (Pr2) cuticle-degrading proteases. Fungal growth was either in nitrate-medium or in CBB cuticle-containing medium under both buffered and unbuffered conditions. In unbuffered medium supplemented with cuticle, the pH of cultures dropped and Pr1 and Pr2 activities were detected in high amounts only at a pH of 5.5 or higher. In buffered cultures, Pr1 and Pr2 activities were higher in medium supplemented with cuticle compared to activities with nitrate-medium. The Pr1 and Pr2 activities detected were mostly in the culture supernatant. These data suggest that Pr1 and Pr2 proteases produced by strain CG425 are induced by components of CBB cuticle, and that the culture pH influences the expression of these proteases, indicating the occurrence of an efficient mechanism of protein secretion in this fungus. The results obtained in this study extend the knowledge about protease production in B. bassiana CG425, opening new avenues for studying the role of secreted proteases in virulence against the coffee berry borer during the infection process.

Keywords : subtilisin-like protease; trypsin-like protease; Hypothenemus hampei.

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