Genome mining of ascomycetous fungi reveals their genetic potential for ergot alkaloid production
Ergot alkaloids are important as mycotoxins or as drugs. Naturally occurring ergot alkaloids as well as their semisynthetic derivatives have been used as pharmaceuticals in modern medicine for decades. We identified 196 putative ergot alkaloid biosynthetic genes belonging to at least 31 putative gene clusters in 31 fungal species by genome mining of the 360 available genome sequences of ascomycetous fungi with known proteins. Detailed analysis showed that these fungi belong to the families Aspergillaceae, Clavicipitaceae, Arthrodermataceae, Helotiaceae and Thermoascaceae. Within the identified families, only a small number of taxa are represented. Literature search revealed a large diversity of ergot alkaloid structures in different fungi of the phylum Ascomycota. However, ergot alkaloid accumulation was only observed in 15 of the sequenced species. Therefore, this study provides genetic basis for further study on ergot alkaloid production in the sequenced strains.
Nina Gerhards, Marco Matuschek, Christiane Wallwey, Shu-Ming Li
Archives of Microbiology
2015, 197, 701