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Two Promoter Rearrangements in a Drug Efflux Transporter Gene Are Responsible for the Appearance and Spread of Multidrug Resistance Phenotype MDR2 in Botrytis cinerea Isolates in French and German Vineyards

October 2011 , Volume 101 , Number  10
Pages  1,176 - 1,183

D. Mernke, S. Dahm, A.-S. Walker, A. Lalève, S. Fillinger, M. Leroch, and M. Hahn

First, second, sixth, and seventh authors: University of Kaiserslautern, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 3049, 67653 Kaiserslautern, Germany; and third, fourth, and fifth authors: INRA, UR 1290 BIOGER-CPP, Avenue Lucien Bretignières, BP 01, F78850 Thiverval-Grignon, France.

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Accepted for publication 3 May 2011.

In French and German vineyards, Botrytis cinerea isolates with multiple fungicide resistance phenotypes have been observed with increasing frequencies. Multidrug resistance (MDR) results from mutations that lead to constitutive overexpression of genes encoding drug efflux transporters. In MDR2 and MDR3 strains, overexpression of the major facilitator superfamiliy transporter gene mfsM2 has been found to result from a rearrangement in the mfsM2 promoter (type A), caused by insertion of a retroelement (RE)-derived sequence. Here, we report the discovery of another, similar RE-induced rearrangement of the mfsM2 promoter (type B) in a subpopulation of French MDR2 isolates. MDR2 isolates harboring either type A or type B mutations in mfsM2 show the same resistance phenotypes and similar levels of mfsM2 overexpression. RE sequences similar to those in mfsM2 were found in low copy numbers in other but not all B. cinerea strains analyzed, including non-MDR2 strains. Population genetic analyses support the hypothesis that the two rearrangement mutations have only occurred once, and are responsible for the appearance and subsequent spread of all known MDR2 and MDR3 strains in French and German wine-growing regions.

This article is in the public domain and not copyrightable. It may be freely reprinted with customary crediting of the source. The American Phytopathological Society, 2011.