Photo morphogenesis and photo response of the blue-light receptor gene Cmwc-1 in different strains of Cordyceps militaris

Authors

  • Tao Yang,

    1. State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Caihong Dong

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    • Correspondence: Caihong Dong, State Key Laboratory of Mycology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, NO.3 1st Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China. Tel.: +86-010-64806138; fax: +86-010-64807468;

      e-mail: dongch@im.ac.cn

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Abstract

Light is a necessary environmental factor for stroma formation and development of Cordyceps militaris, a well-known edible and medicinal fungus. In this study, photo morphogenesis and the blue-light receptor gene were studied using five representative strains of C. militaris. The results suggest that light was essential for colony pigmentation and could promote conidia production. Cmwc-1, the homologe of the blue-light photoreceptor of Neurospora crassa, was cloned from the genome of C. militaris by Hi-tail PCR. The protein CmWC-1 was characterized by the presence of the LOV and PAS domains and a GATA-type Znf domain. Genetic variation analysis of Cmwc-1 in different strains showed that 15-bp deletions occurred in three strains that resulted in 5-Gln deletions in the transcription activation domain. Phylogenetic analysis based on the Sordariomycetes WC-1-like proteins suggested that the sequence of WC-1 could be used as a candidate marker for phylogenetic analysis in fungi. Cmwc-1 mRNA was light inducible and the expression level increased significantly after irradiation in all tested strains. The sequence of CmWC-1 and the relative expressions responding to irradiation in degenerate and albino strains were similar as the cultivated one. This report will help to open the still-unexplored field of stroma development for this fungus.

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