AgResearch
Browse
toxins-13-00076-v3.pdf (690.09 kB)

Genetic manipulation of the ergot alkaloid pathway in Epichloë festucae var. lolii and its effect on black beetle feeding deterrence

Download (690.09 kB)
Epichloë endophytes are filamentous fungi (family Clavicipitaceae) that live in symbiotic associations with grasses in the sub family Poöideae. In New Zealand, E. festucae var. lolii confers significant resistance to perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) against insect and animal herbivory and is an essential component of pastoral agriculture, where ryegrass is a major forage species. The fungus produces in planta a range of bioactive secondary metabolites, including ergovaline, which has demonstrated bioactivity against the important pasture pest black beetle, but can also cause mammalian toxicosis. We genetically modified E. festucae var. lolii strain AR5 to eliminate key enzymatic steps in the ergovaline pathway to determine if intermediate ergot alkaloid compounds can still provide insecticidal benefits in the absence of the toxic end product ergovaline. Four genes (dmaW, easG, cloA, and lpsB) spanning the pathway were deleted and each deletion mutant was inoculated into five different plant genotypes of perennial ryegrass, which were later harvested for a full chemical analysis of the ergot alkaloid compounds produced. These associations were also used in a black beetle feeding deterrence study. Deterrence was seen with just chanoclavine present, but was cumulative as more intermediate compounds in the pathway were made available. Ergovaline was not detected in any of the deletion associations, indicating that bioactivity towards black beetle can be obtained in the absence of this mammalian toxin.

History

Rights statement

Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/ 4.0/).

Language

  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No

Publisher

MDPI

Journal title

Toxins

ISSN

2072-6651

Citation

Hudson, D., Mace, W., Popay, A., Jensen, J., McKenzie, C., Cameron, C., & Johnson, R. (2021). Genetic manipulation of the ergot alkaloid pathway in Epichloë festucae var. lolii and its effect on black beetle feeding deterrence. Toxins, 13(2), 76. doi:10.3390/toxins13020076

Job code

PRJ0110180