Submitted to: American Chemical Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/16/2020
Publication Date: 8/20/2020
Citation: Kim, H.-S., McCormick, S.P., Busman, M., Hao, G., Lohmar, J.M., Vaughan, M.M., Brown, D.W., Proctor, R. 2020. Comparative genomic, transcriptomic and functional analyses provide new insights into diversity, distribution and evolution of natural products produced by the agriculturally important fungal genus Fusarium. American Chemical Society Abstracts. [abstract].
Technical Abstract: Fusarium is a species-rich genus of fungi that collectively cause disease on most economically important plant crops and produce numerous natural products (NPs), including some of the mycotoxins of greatest concern to food and feed safety, multiple plant hormones and pigments, and other metabolites with varied biological activities. In Fusarium, as in other fungi, genes required for synthesis of the same NP are typically located next to one another in a biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC). In the post-genomic era, advanced genome sequencing technologies and reductions in the costs of generating genome sequences have provided an opportunity to investigate the diversity, distribution and evolution of Fusarium BGCs required for synthesis of mycotoxins and other NPs. Computational and comparative analyses of 343 Fusarium genomes representing 187 Fusarium species have identified over 15,500 previously characterized and novel BGCs, revealing that Fusarium has the genetic potential to produce a far greater diversity of NPs than indicated by previous chemical analyses. The genomic analyses also revealed three basic patterns of BGC distribution: limited, wide and sporadic. Phylogenomic analyses suggest that horizontal transfer and loss of genes have contributed to the sporadic distribution of some BGCs. A combination of transcriptomic, chemical and gene-function analyses indicated that variation in production of different analogs of the same NP family can arise through acquisition, loss, and changes in functions of genes in a BGC. Additional analyses provided evidence for the genetic bases for variation in production of some NP types as well as insights into predicting chemical structures based on gene content of BGCs, which in turn can aid in predicting biological activity. The deep sampling of genome sequences of Fusarium species has enriched our understanding of the diversity of NPs that can exist within a single fungal genus. This will in turn aid efforts to exploit the chemical diversity of fungi and contribute to development of strategies to control crop diseases and mycotoxin contamination problems caused by Fusarium and other fungi.