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Open Access Research article

Genetic analyses place most Spanish isolates of Beauveria bassiana in a molecular group with word-wide distribution

Inmaculada Garrido-Jurado13, Marcela Márquez23, Almudena Ortiz-Urquiza1, Cándido Santiago-Álvarez1, Enrique A Iturriaga2, Enrique Quesada-Moraga1, Enrique Monte3* and Rosa Hermosa3

Author Affiliations

1 Departamento de Ciencias y Recursos Agrícolas y Forestales, Universidad de Córdoba, Edificio C4 Celestino Mutis, Campus Rabanales, 14071 Córdoba, Spain

2 Area de Genética. Departamento de Microbiología y Genética, Universidad de Salamanca, Edificio Departamental lab 324, Plaza Doctores de la Reina s/n, 37007 Salamanca, Spain

3 Centro Hispano-Luso de Investigaciones Agrarias (CIALE), Departamento de Microbiología y Genética, Universidad de Salamanca, Río Duero 12, Campus de Villamayor, 37185 Salamanca, Spain

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BMC Microbiology 2011, 11:84  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-11-84

Published: 26 April 2011

Abstract

Background

The entomopathogenic anamorphic fungus Beauveria bassiana is currently used as a biocontrol agent (BCA) of insects. Fifty-seven Beauveria bassiana isolates -53 from Spain- were characterized, integrating group I intron insertion patterns at the 3'-end of the nuclear large subunit ribosomal gene (LSU rDNA) and elongation factor 1-alpha (EF1-α) phylogenetic information, in order to assess the genetic structure and diversity of this Spanish collection of B. bassiana.

Results

Group I intron genotype analysis was based on the four highly conserved insertion sites of the LSU (Ec2653, Ec2449, Ec2066, Ec1921). Of the 16 possible combinations/genotypes, only four were detected, two of which were predominant, containing 44 and 9 members out of 57 isolates, respectively. Interestingly, the members of the latter two genotypes showed unique differences in their growth temperatures. In follow, EF1-α phylogeny served to classify most of the strains in the B. bassiana s.s. (sensu stricto) group and separate them into 5 molecular subgroups, all of which contained a group I intron belonging to the IC1 subtype at the Ec1921 position. A number of parameters such as thermal growth or origin (host, geographic location and climatic conditions) were also examined but in general no association could be found.

Conclusion

Most Spanish B. bassiana isolates (77.2%) are grouped into a major phylogenetic subgroup with word-wide distribution. However, high phylogenetic diversity was also detected among Spanish isolates from close geographic zones with low climatic variation. In general, no correlation was observed between the molecular distribution and geographic origin or climatic characteristics where the Spanish B. bassiana isolates were sampled.

Keywords:
Entomopathogenic fungi; LSU rDNA group I introns; Translation elongation factor gene; Thermal growth