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Keywords:

  • biosynthesis;
  • fusarin;
  • natural products;
  • non-ribosomal peptide synthases;
  • polyketide synthases

Abstract

Fragments of polyketide synthase (PKS) genes were amplified from complementary DNA (cDNA) of the fusarin C producing filamentous fungi Fusarium moniliforme and Fusarium venenatum by using degenerate oligonucleotides designed to select for fungal PKS C-methyltransferase (CMeT) domains. The PCR products, which were highly homologous to fragments of known fungal PKS CMeT domains, were used to probe cDNA and genomic DNA (gDNA) libraries of F. moniliforme and F. venenatum. A 4.0 kb cDNA clone from F. venenatum was isolated and used to prepare a hygromycin-resistance knockout cassette, which was used to produce a fusarin-deficient strain of F. venenatum (kb=1000 bp). Similarly, a 26 kb genomic fragment, isolated on two overlapping clones from F. moniliforme, encoded a complete iterative Type I PKS fused to an unusual nonribosomal peptide synthase module. Once again, targeted gene disruption produced a fusarin-deficient strain, thereby proving that this synthase is responsible for the first steps of fusarin biosynthesis.