Cloning two full-length beta-tubulin isotype cDNAs from Cooperia oncophora, and screening for benzimidazole resistance-associated mutations in two isolates
Two full-length beta-tubulin cDNAs, representing isotypes 1 and 2, were cloned from the cattle nematode Cooperia oncophora. The predicted protein sequences span 448 amino acids, and show a high degree of identity to beta-tubulins from other nematodes. While C. oncophora isotype 1 sequence had the highest identity to Haemonchus contortus isotype 1 and Teladorsagia circumcincta sequences (95% identity), the C. oncophora isotype 2 sequence was most similar to H. contortus isotype 2 and Trichostrongylus colubriformis (92% identity). Alignment of the two C. oncophora sequences with other trichostrongylid beta-tubulins deposited in GenBank showed a clear distinction between isotype 1 and 2 beta-tubulin classes. The two classes differed at 19 amino acid positions, most notably at the carboxy terminus. These isotype-defining residues were conserved among different trichostrongylid species within a class. Analysis of fragments of both genes revealed a high degree of genetic variability in coding and non-coding regions. However, all nucleotide differences detected in the coding region were silent, as they did not result in any amino acid substitution. Analysis of 2 groups of worms for the codon 200 polymorphism associated with benzimidazole resistance revealed a proportion of worms in 1 of the groups bearing a tyrosine at this position.