Key words DMAT-S
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract In order to identify genes which are expressed during alkaloid synthesis in an axenic culture of Claviceps sp. (strain ATCC 26245), a cDNA library from a producing culture was differentially screened with cDNA from producing (cDNA+) and non-producing (cDNA–) cultures, respectively. Altogether, ten cDNA clones were obtained, the alkaloid-synthesis-correlated expression of which was confirmed by Northern analyses. Evaluation of their nucleotide and derived amino-acid sequences identified one gene unequivocally, coding for dimethylallyltryptophan-synthase (DMAT-S), the initial enzyme of the specific alkaloid pathway. For two other genes significant homologies to known fungal genes were detected: one clone showed homology to the Neurospora crassa ccg1 gene, coding for a clock-regulated putative general stress protein; seven cDNA clones, derived from the same gene, which is highly expressed under these conditions, contained typical hydrophobin domains and long stretches of asparagine/glycine repeats (like QID3 from Trichoderma harzianum), thus probably representing a cell-wall constituent. These data show that this is not only a successful approach to clone genes specific for the alkaloid-pathway of C. purpurea, but also of genes which might be involved in the differentiation of sclerotial hyphae, the prerequisite for alkaloid synthesis.
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