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Molecular evolution and phylogenetic analysis of biocontrol genes acquired from SCoT polymorphism of mycoparasitic Trichoderma koningii inhibiting phytopathogen Rhizoctonia solani Kuhn.


The biocontrol agent Trichoderma (T. harzianum, T. viride, T. virens, T. hamantum, T. koningii, T. pseudokoningii and Trichoderma species) inhibited variably (15.32 - 88.12%) the in vitro growth of Rhizoctonia solani causing root rot in cotton. The T. koningii MTCC 796 evidenced highest (88.12%) growth inhibition of test pathogen followed by T. viride NBAII Tv23 (85.34%). Scanning electron microscopic study confirmed mycoparasitism for MTCC 796 and Tv23 which were capable of completely overgrowing on R. solani by degrading mycelia, coiling around the hyphae with hook-like structures. The antagonists T. harzianum NBAII Th1 and, T. virens NBAII Tvs12 exhibited strong antibiosis and formed 2-4 mm zone of inhibition for 70.28% and 46.62%, respectively growth inhibition of test pathogen. Mycoparasitism is a strong mode of action for biocontrol activity compared with antibiosis. The antagonists Trichoderma strains were performed for start codon targeted (SCoT) polymorphism to acquire biocontrol genes from potent antagonist. The six unique SCoT fragments amplified by genomic DNA of best mycoparasitic antagonist MTCC 796 strain are subjected to DNA sequencing resulted to confirm two functional sequences for activity related to biocontrol genes. The phylogenetic and molecular evolution of functional 824 bp of SCoT-3(920) and 776 bp of SCoT-6(806) fragments signify sequence homology with biocontrol genes endochitinase (partial cds of 203 amino acids) and novel hmgR genes (partial cds of 239 amino acids), respectively and the same were annotated and deposited in NCBI GenBank database. The hmgR gene is liable to be express hmg - CoA reductase which is a key enzyme for regulation of terpene biosynthesis and mycoparasitic strains produced triterpenes during antagonism to inhibit growth of fungal pathogen as evidenced with GC-MS profile. The biocontrol genes are found in best antagonist T. koningii MTCC 796 for mycoparasitic activity to restrain the growth of test pathogen R. solani.