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Genetics of Dothistromin Biosynthesis in the Peanut Pathogen Passalora arachidicola

Author(s): Shuguang Zhang | Yanan Guo | Rosie E. Bradshaw

Journal: Toxins
ISSN 2072-6651

Volume: 2;
Issue: 12;
Start page: 2738;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: aflatoxin | gene cluster | gene regulation | mycotoxin | Dothistroma

The peanut leaf spot pathogen Passalora arachidicola (Mycosphaerella arachidis) is known to produce dothistromin, a mycotoxin related to aflatoxin. This is a feature shared with the pine needle pathogen Dothistroma septosporum (Mycosphaerella pini). Dothistromin biosynthesis in D. septosporum commences at an unusually early stage of growth in culture compared to most other fungal secondary metabolites, and the biosynthetic genes are arranged in fragmented groups, in contrast to aflatoxin gene clusters. Dothistromin biosynthetic genes were identified and studied in P. arachidicola to determine if the attributes described in D. septosporum are shared by another dothistromin-producing species within the Class Dothideomycetes. It was shown that dothistromin biosynthesis is very similar in the two species with regard to gene sequence and gene synteny. Functional complementation of D. septosporum mutants with P. arachidicola dothistromin genes was also possible. These similarities support a vertical mode of dothistromin gene transmission. P. arachidicola also produced dothistromin at an early growth stage in culture, suggesting that this type of regulation pattern may be relevant to the biological role of dothistromin.