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Keywords:

  • DMATS superfamily;
  • fumitremorgin A;
  • fumitremorgin-type alkaloids;
  • indole alkaloids;
  • Neosartorya fischeri;
  • O-prenyltransferases
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The cover picture shows a successful strategy to identify secondary-metabolite biosynthetic genes by a combination of chemical, bioinformatics, and biochemical approaches. After isolation and identification of several metabolites of the fumitremorgin-type alkaloids, especially of fumitremorgin A, from cultures of the ascomycetous fungus Neosartorya fischeri NRRL181, S.-M. Li et al. identified a putative prenyltransferase gene ftmPT3 in its genome sequence. Biochemical investigation of the recombinant FtmPT3 proved its role in the conversion of verruculogen to fumitremorgin A. Comparison of the genome sequence of N. fischeri with that of its close relative Aspergillus fumigatus revealed that both fungi contain genes for the biosynthesis of verruculogen and that ftmPT3 is located on a different fragment in N. fischeri than in the identified verruculogen cluster. No homologue gene was identified in the genome sequences of A. fumigatus strains, thus providing evidence for the accumulation of verruculogen as the end product of the biosynthetic pathway of fumitremorgin-type alkaloids in A. fumigatus. See p. 2583 ff. for more details.