DNA sequences of the single-copy gene coding for the 42 kDa endochitinase enzyme (EC 220.127.116.11) were used for phylogenetic analysis in Trichoderma. A set of 12 primers was developed and the entire gene was sequenced for 16 strains, and nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences were compared to data from GenBank for additional Trichoderma strains. Analysis of the sequences revealed parsimony informative variation from 2.4 to 43.6% depending on the part of the gene (exons/introns) and the taxonomic level considered. Results are discussed in comparison to previous data from ITS-1 and ITS-2 rDNA sequencing and suggest the 42 kDa endochitinase gene as a potential molecular marker for reconstructing phylogenetic relationships in the genus Trichoderma at species level.
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