The use of Fusarium secondary metabolite biosynthetic genes in chemotypic and phylogenetic studies.

Critical reviews in microbiology

PubMedID: 23465044

Stepien L. The use of Fusarium secondary metabolite biosynthetic genes in chemotypic and phylogenetic studies. Crit Rev Microbiol. 2013;.
Abstract Fusarium genus contains a large number of species which occur in all climate zones and are pathogenic to agriculturally important crops. The majority of the species produce secondary metabolites, many of which are toxic to plants, animals and humans. The core biosynthetic genes display conserved organization (gene clusters), and a common expression pattern due to synchronized regulation. Although broadly specified enzymatic activities are present in different metabolic paths, the reactions catalyzed by those are limited to a specific step and no compensation effect is observed when the essential gene from one of the clusters is disrupted. Still, inter- and intraspecific diversity of the core biosynthetic genes is consistently higher than that of housekeeping genes, even though the biochemical specificity is maintained. Thus, the core biosynthetic genes of known sequence and structure emerge as good targets for designing tools aimed at the discrimination of closely related (and economically important) Fusarium species. The review covers the present and potential use of sequence analysis and biosynthetic gene-derived molecular markers as applied to taxonomic and chemotype studies, utilizing both toxic (fumonisins, trichothecenes, zearalenone, fusaric acid, fusarins, enniatins and beauvericin) and nontoxic (bikaverin) metabolites produced by Fusarium fungi.