Laccase Gene LAC1 of Colletotrichum lagenarium Is Not Essential for Melanin Biosynthesis and Pathogenicity
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Laccase has been shown to oxidize 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (1,8-DHN) in the final step of melanin biosynthesis in several fungi. In this study, a laccase gene (LAC1) was cloned from Colletotrichum lagenarium that synthesizes 1,8-DHN melanin, and characterized. To clone the LAC1 sequences, genomic DNA was subject to polymerase chain reactions (PCR) with degenerate oligonucleotide primers that were designed on the basis of amino acid sequences conserved among characterized laccases from other ascomycetes Botrytis cinerea, Neurospora crassa, Aspergillus nidulans, and Cryphonectria parasiticus. The LAC1 gene contained an open reading frame composed of 589 codons and three introns of 51, 49, and 57 nucleotides. The deduced amino acid sequence of Lac1p had high similarity to that of laccase from N. crassa and significant homology with those of multicopper blue proteins. Under melanin-induced culture of this fungus, laccase activity significantly increased and LAC1 expression was also detected. However, the lac1Δ mutants retained laccase activity and had no significant phenotypic differences in melanin production or pathogenicity from the wild-type strain.
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