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Genetic evidence for the occurrence of assimilatory nitrate reductase in arbuscular mycorrhizal and other fungi

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Using primers synthesized from two conserved regions and employing PCR, a DNA segment coding for part of the apoprotein of assimilatory nitrate reductase could be amplified from the fungi Aspergillus nidulans, Pythium intermedium, Phytophthora infestans, Phytophthora megasperma and Glomus D13. Sequencing of the amplificates as well as DNA hybridization revealed strong homologies with the nitrate reductase gene in all cases. The digoxigenin-labeled amplificate from Glomus hybridized with DNA isolated from Glomus spores. The data from these gene probing experiments are generally in accord with the published results from enzyme measurements. Thus assimilatory nitrate reductase occurs in saprophytic, parasitic as well as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. No amplificates with these primers were obtained with DNA isolated from Mucor mucedo and Saprolegnia ferax. Such results agree with the failure to detect nitrate assimilation physiologically in these two organisms.

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Kaldorf, M., Zimmer, W. & Bothe, H. Genetic evidence for the occurrence of assimilatory nitrate reductase in arbuscular mycorrhizal and other fungi. Mycorrhiza 5, 23–28 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00204016

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Key words

  • Nitrate reductase
  • Gene amplication in fungi
  • PCR with fungi
  • Arbuscular mycorrhiza Saprophytic and parasitic fungi