Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/12/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: SUMMARY Comparative analysis of 207 genomes representing 159 species of the fungus Fusarium detected 9403 known and putative secondary metabolite (SM) biosynthetic gene clusters. The clusters included those responsible for synthesis of mycotoxins, plant hormones and pigments, and varied in distribution. I. INTRODUCTION Fungi can infect plants, cause crop diseases and produce a wide variety of SMs, including mycotoxins, plant hormones and pigments. Mycotoxins can accumulate in food and feed crops, and thereby pose health risks to humans and domestic animals. Thus mycotoxin-producing fungi can affect agricultural production worldwide by reducing the yield, quality and safety of crops. Fusarium is a species-rich genus of fungi and among the most economically important mycotoxin-producing plant pathogens. In fungi, genes responsible for synthesis of the same SM are typically located in a biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC). Reductions in the costs of generating fungal genome sequences has provided an opportunity to investigate the distribution of BGCs and genetic potential for production of mycotoxins and other SMs in diverse species of Fusarium. II. OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS A. Objectives of this study: Determine the genetic potential of Fusarium species, representing the known phylogenetic diversity of the fungus, to produce mycotoxins and other SMs, and to investigate genetic processes that affect distribution of BGCs. B. Comparative genomic analysis: We identified 9403 known and putative BGCs in 207 genomes representing 159 species and 25 multi-species lineages of Fusarium. C. Impacts of this study: This study will provide information on the potential health risks posed by diverse species of Fusarium and genetic processes that contribute to variation in mycotoxin production. The results will also provide insight into how SM production contributes to the ability of Fusarium to adapt to environmental changes, including host plants. III. ILLUSTRATIONS Assessment of presence and absence of known and putative BGCs in 207 genome sequences revealed marked variation in distribution. Some mycotoxins (trichothecene, fumonisin) and plant hormone (gibberellin, cytokinin) BGCs exhibited a narrow distribution, whereas some pigment (carotenoid and fusarubin) BGCs exhibited a wide distribution.