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Based on comparative amino-acid sequence alignment of geranylgeranyl diphosphate (GGPP) synthase from filamentous fungi, degenerated oligonucleotide primers were designed for searching GGPP synthase gene(s) in entomopathogenic fungi. Polymerase chain reaction with the designed primers amplified GGPP synthase homologues from five representative entomopathogenic fungi: Metarhizium anisopliae, Beauveria bassiana, Verticillium lecanii, Paecilomyces farinosus, and Nomuraea rileyi. Sequence comparison of the amplified of GGPP synthase homologue fragments revealed that M. anisopliae and B. bassiana have at least two different types of the GGPP synthase gene homologues. The first type (designated as ggs1), which is highly conserved among the five strains, has a unique Ser-rich region, SSXSSVSGSSS (X refers to L, A, V, or S), and is constitutively expressed throughout growth. In contrast, the second type of GGPP synthase gene homologue (ggs2) was discovered only in some strains, and genes of this type possessed high similarity to each other but showed relatively weak similarity to the ggs1 genes, with no detectable transcription under the cultivation conditions applied in this experiment. The ggs1 cloned from M. anisopliae, which encoded a putative protein of 359 amino acid residues, was heterologously expressed in E. coli. The recombinant protein showed activity to synthesize GGPP from farnesyl diphosphate and isopentenyl diphosphate. These results strongly suggested that the ggs1 gene encodes a GGPP synthase involved in primary metabolism.


Suthitar Singkaravanit, Hiroshi Kinoshita, Fumio Ihara, Takuya Nihira. Geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase genes in entomopathogenic fungi. Applied microbiology and biotechnology. 2010 Feb;85(5):1463-72

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PMID: 19690851

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