Identification of putative genes involved in the development of Tuber borchii fruit body by mRNA differential display in agarose gel
A full-length genomic clone encoding a class III chitin synthase (CHS) and one DNA fragment corresponding to a class IV CHS were isolated from the mycorrhizal fungus Tuber borchii and used for an extensive expression analysis, together with a previously identified DNA fragment corresponding to a class II CHS. All three Chs mRNAs are constitutively expressed in vegetative mycelia, regardless of the age, mode of growth, and proliferation capacity of the hyphae. A strikingly different situation was observed in ascomata, where class III and IV, but not class II, mRNAs are differentially expressed in a maturation stage-dependent manner and accumulate, respectively, in sporogenic and vegetative hyphae. These data, the first on the expression of distinct Chs mRNAs during fruitbody development, point to the different cellular roles that can be played by distinct chitin synthases in the differentiation of spores of sexual origin (CHS III) or in ascoma enlargement promoted by the growth of vegetative hyphae (CHS IV).