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Genetics of Dothistromin Biosynthesis of Dothistroma septosporum: An Update

Author(s): Arne Schwelm | Rosie E. Bradshaw

Journal: Toxins
ISSN 2072-6651

Volume: 2;
Issue: 11;
Start page: 2680;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Dothideomycete | mycotoxin | gene cluster | pine needle blight | Mycosphaerella pini | aflatoxin | sterigmatocystin

Dothistroma needle blight is one of the most devastating fungal pine diseases worldwide. The disease is characterized by accumulation in pine needles of a red toxin, dothistromin, that is chemically related to aflatoxin (AF) and sterigmatocystin (ST). This review updates current knowledge of the genetics of dothistromin biosynthesis by the Dothistroma septosporum pathogen and highlights differences in gene organization and regulation that have been discovered between the dothistromin and AF/ST systems. Some previously reported genes are promoted or demoted as ‘dothistromin genes’ based on recent research. A new dothistromin gene, norB, is reported, and evidence of dothistromin gene homologs in other Dothideomycete fungi is presented. A hypothesis for the biological role of dothistromin is outlined. Finally, the impact that the availability of the D. septosporum genome sequence will have on dothistromin research is discussed.