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  • 1.
    Hjort, Karin
    et al.
    Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Biology. Uppsala University.
    Presti, Ilaria
    University of Insubria, Varese, Italy.
    Elväng, Annelie
    Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Biology.
    Marinelli, Flavia
    University of Insubria, Varese, Italy.
    Sjöling, Sara
    Södertörn University, School of Natural Sciences, Technology and Environmental Studies, Biology.
    Bacterial chitinase with phytopathogen control capacity from suppressive soil revealed by functional metagenomics2014In: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, ISSN 0175-7598, E-ISSN 1432-0614, Vol. 98, no 6, p. 2819-2828Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Plant disease caused by fungal pathogens results in vast crop damage globally. Microbial communities of soil that is suppressive to fungal crop disease provide a source for the identification of novel enzymes functioning as bioshields against plant pathogens. In this study, we targeted chitin-degrading enzymes of the uncultured bacterial community through a functional metagenomics approach, using a fosmid library of a suppressive soil metagenome. We identified a novel bacterial chitinase, Chi18H8, with antifungal activity against several important crop pathogens. Sequence analyses show that the chi18H8 gene encodes a 425-amino acid protein of 46 kDa with an N-terminal signal peptide, a catalytic domain with the conserved active site F175DGIDIDWE183, and a chitinase insertion domain. Chi18H8 was expressed (pGEX-6P-3 vector) in Escherichia coli and purified. Enzyme characterization shows that Chi18H8 has a prevalent chitobiosidase activity with a maximum activity at 35 °C at pH lower than 6, suggesting a role as exochitinase on native chitin. To our knowledge, Chi18H8 is the first chitinase isolated from a metagenome library obtained in pure form and which has the potential to be used as a candidate agent for controlling fungal crop diseases. Furthermore, Chi18H8 may also answer to the demand for novel chitin-degrading enzymes for a broad range of other industrial processes and medical purposes.

    Download full text (pdf)
    Hjort et al 2013
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