Marker genes were introduced in the biocontrol strain Clonostachys rosea IK726 (IBT 9371) as a tool for monitoring the strain in ecological studies. The beta-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene and a gene encoding the green fluorescent protein (GFP) were, in separate experiments, integrated into the genome of IK726 using the Hygromycin B (HygB) resistance gene as selective marker. In order to select GUS and GFP transformants that resembled the wildtype strain, growth rate, production of enzymes and of metabolites of four GUS positive and six GFP positive transformants were tested in vitro. In addition, the biocontrol efficacy against disease caused by seed-borne Fusarium culmorum was evaluated on barley grown in sand. Compared to the wildtype, two selected GUS and GFP transformants, IK726c5 and IK726d11, did not vary in physiological properties. Both maintained the ability to colonize barley roots, and to reduce efficiently the severity of F. culmorum without affecting plant emergence. Quantification of GUS activity of IK726c5 in peat and vermiculite and on seeds was carried out. The GFP transformant, IK726d11, was visualized by epifluorescence and confocal scanning laser microscopy directly in soil, vermiculite, on carrot seed and roots, and on barley leaves. It was shown that C. rosea can thrive in very different niches. Conidia germination, colonization and conidiogenesis were demonstrated in vivo in all four environments. This is the first report on transformation of Clonostachys rosea with marker genes.
|Publication status||Published - 2002|