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Role of Zearalenone Lactonase in Protection of Gliocladium roseum from Fungitoxic Effects of the Mycotoxin Zearalenone

Utermark, Jan, Karlovsky, Petr
Applied and environmental microbiology 2007 v.73 no.2 pp. 637-642
Agrobacterium, Clonostachys rosea f. rosea, Fusarium, decarboxylation, estrogenic properties, fungi, genes, genetic transformation, hydrolysis, mammals, mutants, mycoparasites, nucleotide sequences, toxicity, zearalenone
Zearalenone is a mycotoxin with estrogenic effects on mammals that is produced by several species of FUSARIUM: We found that zearalenone and its derivatives inhibit the growth of filamentous fungi on solid media at concentrations of <=10 μg/ml. The fungitoxic effect declined in the order zearalenone > α-zearalenol > β-zearalenol. The mycoparasitic fungus Gliocladium roseum produces a zearalenone-specific lactonase which catalyzes the hydrolysis of zearalenone, followed by a spontaneous decarboxylation. The growth of G. roseum was not inhibited by zearalenone, and the lactonase may protect G. roseum from the toxic effects of this mycotoxin. We inactivated zes2, the gene encoding zearalenone lactonase in G. roseum, by inserting a hygromycin resistance cassette into the coding sequence of the gene by means of Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated genetic transformation. The zes2 disruption mutants could not hydrolyze the lactone bond of zearalenone and were more sensitive to zearalenone. These data are consistent with a hypothesis that resorcylic acid lactones exemplified by zearalenone act to reduce growth competition by preventing competing fungi from colonizing substrates occupied by zearalenone producers and suggest that they may play a role in fungal defense against mycoparasites.