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Members of the nitronate monooxygenase gene family from Metarhizium brunneum are induced during the process of infection to Plutella xylostella


Metarhizium species are the most abundant fungi that can be isolated from soil, with a well-known biopesticide capacity. Metarhizium recognizes their hosts when the conidium interacts with insects, where the fungi are in contact with the hydrocarbons of the outermost lipid layer cuticle. These cuticular hydrocarbons comprise a mixture of n-alkanes, n-alkenes, and methyl-branched chains. Metarhizium can degrade insect hydrocarbons and use these hydrocarbons for energy production and the biosynthesis of cellular components. The metabolism of nitroalkanes involves nitronate monooxygenase activity. In this work, we isolated a family of six genes with potential nitronate monooxygenase activity from Metarhizium brunneum. The six genes were expressed in Escherichia coli, and the nitronate monooxygenase activity was verified in the recombinant proteins. Additionally, when the conidia of M. brunneum were grown in medium with nitroalkanes, virulence against Plutella xylostella increased. Furthermore, we analyzed the expression of the six Npd genes during the infection to this insect, which showed differential expression of the six Npd genes during infection.

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This work was funded by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, CONACYT (grant nos. 220780 and 103173), and Universidad de Guanajuato (grant nos. 000014/11 and 511/2015). CQKY, VMBG, and VFA received a fellowship from CONACYT.

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Correspondence to Gloria Angélica González Hernández.

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Cervantes Quintero, K.Y., Padilla Guerrero, I.E., Torres Guzmán, J.C. et al. Members of the nitronate monooxygenase gene family from Metarhizium brunneum are induced during the process of infection to Plutella xylostella. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2020).

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  • Biopesticide
  • Metarhizium
  • Nitroalkanes
  • Nitronate monooxygenase