28s rDNA group-I introns: a powerful tool for identifying strains of Beauveria brongniartii


C. Neuvéglise INRA-INAPG, Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire et Cellulaire, F-78850 Thiverval Grignon, France. Fax: 00-33-01-30-81-54-57, E-mail: ncecile@cardere.grignon.inra.fr


The nuclear ribosomal DNA of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria brongniartii is polymorphic in terms of both restriction site and length. Insertions of 350–450 bp long, identified as group-I introns, were detected in the 28s rDNA. A panel of 47 strains of B. brongniartii, two B. bassiana and one Metarhizium anisopliae of various geographical and biological origins were found to contain 14 variant forms of intron differing in size and restriction pattern, at four different positions. Twelve types of ribosomal large subunit were defined on the basis of variant distribution and compared with strain clustering based on internal transcribed spacers analysis. There was a correlation between the characteristic introns and isolates collected from the sugar cane pest Hoplochelus marginalis. Primers for polymerase chain reaction amplification were chosen from these variants, and used to develop a specific method for detecting strains pathogenic towards Hoplochelus.