Manganese (Mn) oxidation by the plant-pathogenic fungus Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici has been correlated with virulence in take-all disease. The mechanism of Mn oxidation has not, however, been investigated adequately. Research on bacteria and other fungi indicates that Mn oxidation is most often the result of the activity of multicopper oxidases. To determine if G. graminis var. tritici oxidizes Mn by similar means, the Mn oxidizing factor (MOF) produced by G. graminis var. tritici was characterized by cultural, spectrophotometric, and cellulose acetate electrophoresis methods. Based on our results, the MOF is an extracellular enzyme with an estimated molecular weight of 50 to 100 kDa. Electrophoresis and spectrophotometry indicate that the MOF is a multicopper oxidase with laccase activity.
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