Submitted to: Revista Iberoamericana De Micologia
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2005
Publication Date: 12/15/2005
Citation: Ronning, C.M., Fedorova, N.D., Bowyer, P., Coulson, R., Goldman, G., Kim, H.S., Turner, G., Wortman, J.R., Yu, J., Anderson, M.J., Denning, D.W., Nierman, W.C. 2005. Genomics of Aspergillus fumigatus. Revista Iberoamericana De Micologia. 22:223-228. Interpretive Summary: Aspergillus fumigatus is an opportunistic pathogen causing invasive and non-invasive aspergillosis in humans, animals and insects. However, it does not produce aflatoxins. Health risk to humans and animals, as well as lost productivity, are significant due to the pathogenic effect of A. fumigatus. Understanding the mechanism of pathogeneicity of this closely related fungal pathogen, A. fumigatus, at genome scale is helpful to identify genes involved in infection in agricultural crops in A. flavus. Information obtained through comparative fungal genomics could provide such valuable information in the development of therapeutical drugs and to provide information for devising strategies in controlling diseases of humans, animals and plants.
Technical Abstract: Aspergillus fumigatus is a filamentous fungal saprophyte that is ubiquitous in the environment. It is also a human pathogen and induces allergenic response, negatively impacting health care and associated costs significantly around the world. Much of the basic biology of this organism is only poorly understood, but the recent completion and publication of its genome sequence provides an excellent tool for researchers to gain insight into these processes. In this review, we will summarize some of the more salient features revealed by analysis of the genome, including the search for candidate pathogenicity genes and the switch to a pathogenic lifestyle, allergen proteins, DNA repair, secondary metabolite gene clusters that produce compounds both useful and toxic, a theoretical capability of this asexual organism to reproduce sexually, signalling and transcription. A. fumigatus was compared with the food biotechnology fungus A. oryzae and sexual fungus A. nidulans, as well as other fungi like A. flavus, in an attempt to discern key differences between these organisms.