The Plant Pathology Journal 2008;24(1):8-16.
Published online March 31, 2008.
Functional Characterization of Genes Located at the Aurofusarin BiosynthesisGene Cluster in Gibberella zeae
Jung Eun Kim, Jin Cheol Kim, Jian Ming Jin, Sung Hwan Yun, Yin Won Lee
Aurofusarin is a polyketide pigment produced by some Fusarium species. The PKS12 and GIP1 genes, which encode a putative type I polyketide synthase (PKS) and a fungal laccase, respectively, are known to be required for aurofusarin biosynthesis in Gibberella zeae (anamorph: Fusarium graminearum). The ten additional genes, which are located within a 30 kb region of PKS12 and GIP1 and regulated by a putative transcription factor (GIP2), organize the aurofusarin biosynthetic cluster. To determine if they are essential for aurofusarin production in G. zeae, we have employed targeted gene deletion, complementation, and chemical analyses. GIP7, which encodes O-methyltransferase, is confirmed to be required for the conversion of norrubrofusarin to rubrofusarin, an intermediate of aurofusarin. GIP1-, GIP3-, and GIP8-deleted strains accumulated rubrofusarin, indicating those gene products are essential enzymes for the conversion of rubrofusarin to aurofusarin. Based on the phenotypic changes in the gene deletion strains examined, we propose a possible pathway for aurofusarin biosynthesis in G. zeae. Our results would provide important information for better understanding of naphthoquinone biosynthesis in other filamentous fungi as well as the aurofusarin biosynthesis in G. zeae.
Key Words: a gene cluster, aurofusarin biosynthesis, Gibberella zeae, polyketide
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