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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: FORAGE SYSTEMS FOR SUSTAINABLE ANIMAL PRODUCTION IN THE MID-SOUTH

Location: Forage-animal Production Research

Title: Plant-symbiotic fungi as chemical engineers: multi-genome analysis of the Clavicipitaceae reveals dynamics of alkaloid loci)

Author
item Schardl, Christopher
item Young, Carolyn
item Hesse, Uljana
item Amyotte, Stefan
item Andreeva, Kalina
item Calie, Patrick
item Fleetwood, Damien
item Haws, David
item Moore, Neil
item Oeser, Birgitt
item Panaccione, Daniel
item Schweri, Kathryn
item Voisey, Christine
item Farman, Mark
item Jaromczyk, Jerzy
item Roe, Bruce
item O'sullivan, Donal
item Scott, Barry
item Tudzynski, Paul
item An, Zhiqiang
item Arnaoudova, Elissaveta
item Bullock, Charles
item Charlton, Nikki
item Chen, Li
item Cox, Murray
item Dinkins, Randy
item Florea, Simona
item Glenn, Anthony - Tony
item Gordon, Anna
item Guldener, Ulrich
item Harris, Daniel
item Hollin, Walter
item Jaromczyk, Jolanta
item Johnson, Richard
item Khan, Anar
item Leistner, Eckhard
item Leuchtmann, Adrian
item Li, Chunjie
item Liu, Jinge
item Liu, Jinze
item Liu, Miao
item Mace, Wade
item Machado, Caroline
item Nagabhyru, Padmaja
item Pan, Juan
item Schmid, Jan
item Sugawara, Koya
item Steiner, Ulrike
item Takach, Johanna
item Tanaka, Eiji
item Webb, Jennifer
item Wilson, Ella
item Wiseman, Jennifer
item Yoshida, Ruriko
item Zeng, Sheng

Submitted to: PLoS Genetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/31/2012
Publication Date: 2/28/2013
Citation: Schardl, C.L., Young, C.A., Hesse, U., Amyotte, S.G., Andreeva, K., Calie, P.J., Fleetwood, D.J., Haws, D.C., Moore, N., Oeser, B., Panaccione, D.G., Schweri, K.K., Voisey, C.R., Farman, M.L., Jaromczyk, J.W., Roe, B.A., O'Sullivan, D.M., Scott, B., Tudzynski, P., An, Z., Arnaoudova, E., Bullock, C.T., Charlton, N.D., Chen, L., Cox, M., Dinkins, R.D., Florea, S., Glenn, A.E., Gordon, A., Guldener, U., Harris, D.R., Hollin, W., Jaromczyk, J., Johnson, R.D., Khan, A.K., Leistner, E., Leuchtmann, A., Li, C., Liu, J., Liu, J., Liu, M., Mace, W., Machado, C., Nagabhyru, P., Pan, J., Schmid, J., Sugawara, K., Steiner, U., Takach, J.E., Tanaka, E., Webb, J.S., Wilson, E., Wiseman, J., Yoshida, R., Zeng, S. 2013. Plant-symbiotic fungi as chemical engineers: multi-genome analysis of the Clavicipitaceae reveals dynamics of alkaloid loci. PLoS Genetics. 9(2):e1003323. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003323.

Interpretive Summary: The fungal family Clavicipitaceae includes plant symbionts and parasites that produce several potent psychoactive and bioprotective alkaloids. The family includes grass-symbiotic epichloae (Epichloë and Neotyphodium species), which have highly diverse chemotypes with four distinct classes of anti-insect and anti-mammalian alkaloids. Epichloae also vary widely in host-interactions, some being pathogenic and contagious, and others being mutualistic and vertically transmitted (seed-borne). We sequenced genomes of seven epichloae, two related symbionts, and three ergot fungi, and compared their alkaloid gene clusters. The clusters tend to have conserved cores that specify the alkaloid skeleton structures, and peripheral genes for variations affecting pharmacological specificities. In contrast to most secondary metabolite gene clusters, the alkaloid loci have large retroelement-derived repeat-arrays, especially in the epichloae. Such repeats can facilitate gene rearrangements, deletions, duplications and neofunctionalization, suggesting that epichloae are under selection for alkaloid diversification, perhaps due to their highly variable life histories and plant-protective roles.

Technical Abstract: The fungal family Clavicipitaceae includes plant symbionts and parasites that produce several potent psychoactive and bioprotective alkaloids. The family includes grass-symbiotic epichloae (Epichloë and Neotyphodium species), which have highly diverse chemotypes with four distinct classes of anti-insect and anti-mammalian alkaloids. Epichloae also vary widely in host-interactions, some being pathogenic and contagious, and others being mutualistic and vertically transmitted (seed-borne). We sequenced genomes of seven epichloae, two related symbionts, and three ergot fungi, and compared their alkaloid gene clusters. The clusters tend to have conserved cores that specify the alkaloid skeleton structures, and peripheral genes for variations affecting pharmacological specificities. In contrast to most secondary metabolite gene clusters, the alkaloid loci have large retroelement-derived repeat-arrays, especially in the epichloae. Such repeats can facilitate gene rearrangements, deletions, duplications and neofunctionalization, suggesting that epichloae are under selection for alkaloid diversification, perhaps due to their highly variable life histories and protective roles.

Last Modified: 8/24/2016
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