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Brazilian Journal of Microbiology

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

Abstract

ZHU, Yanping; PAN, Jieru; QIU, Junzhi  and  GUAN, Xiong. Isolation and characterization of a chitinase gene from entomopathogenic fungus Verticillium lecanii. Braz. J. Microbiol. [online]. 2008, vol.39, n.2, pp.314-320. ISSN 1517-8382.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1517-83822008000200022.

Entomopathogenic fungus Verticillium lecanii is a promising whitefly and aphid control agent. Chitinases secreted by this insect pathogen have considerable importance in the biological control of some insect pests. An endochitinase gene Vlchit1 from the fungus was cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli. The Vlchit1 gene not only contains an open reading frame (ORF) which encodes a protein of 423 amino acids (aa), but also is interrupted by three short introns. A homology modelling of Vlchit1 protein showed that the chitinase Vlchit1 has a (α/β)8 TIM barrel structure. Overexpression test and Enzymatic activity assay indicated that the Vlchit1 is a functional enzyme that can hydrolyze the chitin substrate, so the Vlchit1 gene can service as a useful gene source for genetic manipulation leading to strain improvement of entomopathogenic fungi or constructing new transgenic plants with resistance to various fungal and insects pests.

Keywords : Chitinase; Cloning; Overexpression; Homology modeling; Verticillium lecanii.

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