Comparative genome and transcriptome analyses revealing interspecies variations in the expression of fungal biosynthetic gene clusters

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
H. TakahashiDaisuke Hagiwara


Filamentous fungi produce various bioactive compounds that are biosynthesized by a set of proteins encoded in biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs). For an unknown reason, large parts of the BGCs are transcriptionally silent under laboratory conditions, which has hampered the discovery of novel fungal compounds. The transcriptional regulation of fungal secondary metabolism is not fully understood from an evolutionary viewpoint. To address this issue, we conducted comparative genomic and transcriptomic analyses using five closely related species of the Aspergillus section Fumigati: Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus lentulus, Aspergillus udagawae, Aspergillus pseudoviridinutans, and Neosartorya fischeri. From their genomes, 298 secondary metabolite (SM) core genes were identified, with 27.4% to 41.5% being unique to a species. Compared with the species-specific genes, a set of section-conserved SM core genes was expressed at a higher rate and greater magnitude, suggesting that their expression tendency is correlated with the BGC distribution pattern. However, the section-conserved BGCs showed diverse expression patterns across the Fumigati species. Thus, not all common BGCs across species appear to be regulated in an identical manne...Continue Reading

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