AFLP fingerprinting: an efficient technique for detecting genetic variation of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis.
Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis (Xam) is the causative agent of cassava bacterial blight (CBB), a worldwide disease that is particularly destructive in South America and Africa. CBB is controlled essentially through the use of resistant varieties. To develop an appropriate disease management strategy, the genetic diversity of the pathogen's populations must be assessed. Until now, the genetic diversity of Xam was characterized by RFLP analyses using ribotyping, and plasmid and genomic Xam probes. We used AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism), a novel PCR-based technique, to characterize the genetic diversity of Colombian Xam isolates. Six Xam strains were tested with 65 AFLP primer combinations to identify the best selective primers. Eight primer combinations were selected according to their reproducibility, number of polymorphic bands and polymorphism detected between Xam strains. Forty-seven Xam strains, originating from different Colombian ecozones, were analysed with the selected combinations. Results obtained with AFLP are consistent with those obtained with RFLP, using plasmid DNA as a probe. Some primer combinations differentiated Xam strains that were not distinguished by RFLP analyses, thus AFLP fingerprinting allowed a better definition of the genetic relationships between Xam strains. (+info)
Evidence on the origin of cassava: phylogeography of Manihot esculenta.
Cassava (Manihot esculenta subsp. esculenta) is a staple crop with great economic importance worldwide, yet its evolutionary and geographical origins have remained unresolved and controversial. We have investigated this crop's domestication in a phylogeographic study based on the single-copy nuclear gene glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (G3pdh). The G3pdh locus provides high levels of noncoding sequence variation in cassava and its wild relatives, with 28 haplotypes identified among 212 individuals (424 alleles) examined. These data represent one of the first uses of a single-copy nuclear gene in a plant phylogeographic study and yield several important insights into cassava's evolutionary origin: (i) cassava was likely domesticated from wild M. esculenta populations along the southern border of the Amazon basin; (ii) the crop does not seem to be derived from several progenitor species, as previously proposed; and (iii) cassava does not share haplotypes with Manihot pruinosa, a closely related, potentially hybridizing species. These findings provide the clearest picture to date on cassava's origin. When considered in a genealogical context, relationships among the G3pdh haplotypes are incongruent with taxonomic boundaries, both within M. esculenta and at the interspecific level; this incongruence is probably a result of lineage sorting among these recently diverged taxa. Although phylogeographic studies in animals have provided many new evolutionary insights, application of phylogeography in plants has been hampered by difficulty in obtaining phylogenetically informative intraspecific variation. This study demonstrates that single-copy nuclear genes can provide a useful source of informative variation in plants. (+info)
Bioactivation of cyanide to cyanate in sulfur amino acid deficiency: relevance to neurological disease in humans subsisting on cassava.
Neurological disorders have been reported from parts of Africa with protein-deficient populations and attributed to cyanide (CN-) exposure from prolonged dietary use of cassava, a cyanophoric plant. Cyanide is normally metabolized to thiocyanate (SCN-) by the sulfur-dependent enzyme rhodanese. However, in protein-deficient subjects where sulfur amino acids (SAA) are low, CN may conceivably be converted to cyanate (OCN-), which is known to cause neurodegenerative disease in humans and animals. This study investigates the fate of potassium cyanide administered orally to rats maintained for up to 4 weeks on either a balanced diet (BD) or a diet lacking the SAAs, L-cystine and L-methionine. In both groups, there was a time-dependent increase in plasma cyanate, with exponential OCN- increases in SAA-deficient rats. A strongly positive linear relationship between blood CN- and plasma OCN- concentrations was observed in these animals. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that cyanate is an important mediator of chronic cyanide neurotoxicity during protein-calorie deficiency. The potential role of thiocyanate in cassava-associated konzo is discussed in relationship to the etiology of the comparable pattern of motor-system disease (spastic paraparesis) seen in lathyrism. (+info)
Cytochromes P-450 from cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) catalyzing the first steps in the biosynthesis of the cyanogenic glucosides linamarin and lotaustralin. Cloning, functional expression in Pichia pastoris, and substrate specificity of the isolated recombinant enzymes.
The first committed steps in the biosynthesis of the two cyanogenic glucosides linamarin and lotaustralin in cassava are the conversion of L-valine and L-isoleucine, respectively, to the corresponding oximes. Two full-length cDNA clones that encode cytochromes P-450 catalyzing these reactions have been isolated. The two cassava cytochromes P-450 are 85% identical, share 54% sequence identity to CYP79A1 from sorghum, and have been assigned CYP79D1 and CYP79D2. Functional expression has been achieved using the methylotrophic yeast, Pichia pastoris. The amount of CYP79D1 isolated from 1 liter of P. pastoris culture exceeds the amounts that putatively could be isolated from 22,000 grown-up cassava plants. Each cytochrome P-450 metabolizes L-valine as well as L-isoleucine consistent with the co-occurrence of linamarin and lotaustralin in cassava. CYP79D1 was isolated from P. pastoris. Reconstitution in lipid micelles showed that CYP79D1 has a higher k(c) value with L-valine as substrate than with L-isoleucine, which is consistent with linamarin being the major cyanogenic glucoside in cassava. Both CYP79D1 and CYP79D2 are present in the genome of cassava cultivar MCol22 in agreement with cassava being allotetraploid. CYP79D1 and CYP79D2 are actively transcribed, and production of acyanogenic cassava plants would therefore require down-regulation of both genes. (+info)
Evidence of synergism between African cassava mosaic virus and a new double-recombinant geminivirus infecting cassava in Cameroon.
Stem cuttings were collected in Cameroon from cassava plants displaying cassava mosaic disease (CMD) symptoms. The nature of the viruses present was determined by using the PCR with primers specific for the coat protein (CP) genes of African cassava mosaic virus (ACMV) and East African cassava mosaic virus (EACMV). All samples were infected by ACMV and eight of the 50 samples were infected by both ACMV and an EACMV-like virus. The complete nucleotide sequences of DNA-A and -B of representative ACMV and EACMV-like viruses were determined. The DNA-A component of the EACMV-like virus contained evidence of recombination in the AC2-AC3 region and DNA-B also contained evidence of recombination in BC1. However, both components retained gene arrangements typical of bipartite begomoviruses. When Nicotiana benthamiana plants were doubly inoculated with these Cameroon isolates of ACMV and EACMV (ACMV/CM, EACMV/CM) by using sap from cassava plants or infectious clones, the symptoms were more severe than for plants inoculated with either virus alone. Southern blot analysis of viral DNAs from infected plants showed that there were significantly higher levels of accumulation of both ACMV/CM components and, to a lesser extent, of EACMV/CM components in mixed-infected plants than in singly infected plants. These results strongly suggest the occurrence of a synergistic interaction between the two viruses. (+info)
Design and evaluation of a Lactobacillus manihotivorans species-specific rRNA-targeted hybridization probe and its application to the study of sour cassava fermentation.
Based on 16S rRNA sequence comparison, we have designed a 20-mer oligonucleotide that targets a region specific to the species Lactobacillus manihotivorans recently isolated from sour cassava fermentation. The probe recognized the rRNA obtained from all the L. manihotivorans strains tested but did not recognize 56 strains of microorganisms from culture collections or directly isolated from sour cassava, including 29 species of lactic acid bacteria. This probe was then successfully used in quantitative RNA blots and demonstrated the importance of L. manihotivorans in the fermentation of sour cassava starch, which could represent up to 20% of total lactic acid bacteria. (+info)
Complete nucleotide sequence and host range of South African cassava mosaic virus: further evidence for recombination amongst begomoviruses.
Complete nucleotide sequences of the DNA-A (2800 nt) and DNA-B (2760 nt) components of a novel cassava-infecting begomovirus, South African cassava mosaic virus (SACMV), were determined and compared with various New World and Old World begomoviruses. SACMV is most closely related to East African cassava mosaic virus (EACMV) in both its DNA-A (85% with EACMV-MH and -MK) and -B (90% with EACMV-UG2-Mld and EACMV-UG3-Svr) components; however, percentage sequence similarities of less than 90% in the DNA-A component allowed SACMV to be considered a distinct virus. One significant recombination event spanning the entire AC4 open reading frame was identified; however, there was no evidence of recombination in the DNA-B component. Infectivity of the cloned SACMV genome was demonstrated by successful agroinoculation of cassava and three other plant species (Phaseolus vulgaris, Malva parviflora and Nicotiana benthamiana). This is the first description of successful infection of cassava with a geminivirus using Agrobacterium tumefaciens. (+info)
Identification of essential active-site residues in the cyanogenic beta-glucosidase (linamarase) from cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) by site-directed mutagenesis.
The coding sequence of the mature cyanogenic beta-glucosidase (beta-glucoside glucohydrolase, EC 184.108.40.206; linamarase) was cloned into the vector pYX243 modified to contain the SUC2 yeast secretion signal sequence and expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The recombinant enzyme is active, glycosylated and showed similar stability to the plant protein. Michaelis constants for hydrolysis of the natural substrate, linamarin (K(m)=1.06 mM) and the synthetic p-nitrophenyl beta-D-glucopyranoside (PNP-Glc; K(m)=0.36 mM), as well as apparent pK(a) values of the free enzyme and the enzyme-substrate complexes (pK(E)(1)=4.4-4.8, pK(E)(2)=6.7-7.2, pK(ES)(1)=3.9-4.4, pK(ES)(2)=8.3) were very similar to those of the plant enzyme. Site-directed mutagenesis was carried out to study the function of active-site residues based on a homology model generated for the enzyme using the MODELLER program. Changing Glu-413 to Gly destroyed enzyme activity, consistent with it being the catalytic nucleophile. The Gln-339Glu mutation also abolished activity, confirming a function in positioning the catalytic diad. The Ala-201Val mutation shifted the pK(a) of the acid/base catalyst Glu-198 from 7.22 to 7.44, reflecting a change in its hydrophobic environment. A Phe-269Asn change increased K(m) for linamarin hydrolysis 16-fold (16.1 mM) and that for PNP-Glc only 2.5-fold (0.84 mM), demonstrating that Phe-269 contributes to the cyanogenic specificity of the cassava beta-glucosidase. (+info)