Characterization of Metarhizium Species and Varieties Based on Molecular Analysis, Heat Tolerance and Cold Activity
Journal of Applied Microbiology
AIMS: The genetic relationships and conidial tolerances to high and low temperatures were determined for isolates of several Metarhizium species and varieties. METHODS AND RESULTS: Molecular-based techniques [AFLP and rDNA (ITS1, ITS2 and 5.8S) gene sequencing] were used to characterize morphologically identified Metarhizium spp. isolates from a wide range of sources. Conidial suspensions of isolates were exposed to wet heat (45 + or - 0.2 degrees C) and plated on potato dextrose agar plus yeast extract (PDAY) medium. After 8-h exposure, the isolates divided clearly into two groups: (i) all isolates of Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae (Ma-an) and Metarhizium from the flavoviride complex (Mf) had virtually zero conidial relative germination (RG), (ii) Metarhizium anisopliae var. acridum (Ma-ac) isolates demonstrated high heat tolerance (c. 70-100% RG). Conidial suspensions also were plated on PDAY and incubated at 5 degrees C for 15 days, during which time RGs for Ma-an and Ma-ac isolates were virtually zero, whereas the two Mf were highly cold active (100% RG). CONCLUSIONS: Heat and cold exposures can be used as rapid tools to tentatively identify some important Metarhizium species and varieties. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: Identification of Metarhizium spp. currently relies primarily on DNA-based methods; we suggest a simple temperature-based screen to quickly obtain tentative identification of isolates as to species or species complexes.
Fernandes, E.K.K., C.A. Keyser, J.P. Chong, D.E.N. Rangel, M.P. Miller and D.W. Roberts. 2010. Characterization of Metarhizium species and varieties based on molecular analysis, heat tolerance and cold activity. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 108:115–128.