Isolation and Characterisation of a Ferrirhodin Synthetase Gene from the Sugarcane Pathogen Fusarium sacchari



FSN1, a gene isolated from the sugar-cane pathogen Fusarium sacchari, encodes a 4707-residue nonribosomal peptide synthetase consisting of three complete adenylation, thiolation and condensation modules followed by two additional thiolation and condensation domain repeats. This structure is similar to that of ferricrocin synthetase, which makes a siderophore that is involved in intracellular iron storage in other filamentous fungi. Heterologous expression of FSN1 in Aspergillus oryzae resulted in the accumulation of a secreted metabolite that was identified as ferrirhodin. This siderophore was found to be present in both mycelium and culture filtrates of F. sacchari, whereas ferricrocin is found only in the mycelium, thus suggesting that ferricrocin is an intracellular storage siderophore in F. sacchari, whereas ferrirhodin is used for iron acquisition. To our knowledge, this is the first report to characterise a ferrirhodin synthetase gene functionally.