3 years ago

Description of an orthologous cluster of ochratoxin A biosynthetic genes in Aspergillus and Penicillium species. A comparative analysis

Ochratoxin A (OTA) is one of the most important mycotoxins due to its toxic properties and worldwide distribution which is produced by several Aspergillus and Penicillium species. The knowledge of OTA biosynthetic genes and understanding of the mechanisms involved in their regulation are essential. In this work, we obtained a clear picture of biosynthetic genes organization in the main OTA-producing Aspergillus and Penicillium species (A. steynii, A. westerdijkiae, A. niger, A. carbonarius and P. nordicum) using complete genome sequences obtained in this work or previously available on databases. The results revealed a region containing five ORFs which predicted five proteins: halogenase, bZIP transcription factor, cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, non-ribosomal peptide synthetase and polyketide synthase in all the five species. Genetic synteny was conserved in both Penicillium and Aspergillus species although genomic location seemed to be different since the clusters presented different flanking regions (except for A. steynii and A. westerdijkiae); these observations support the hypothesis of the orthology of this genomic region and that it might have been acquired by horizontal transfer. New real-time RT-PCR assays for quantification of the expression of these OTA biosynthetic genes were developed. In all species, the five genes were consistently expressed in OTA-producing strains in permissive conditions. These protocols might favour futures studies on the regulation of biosynthetic genes in order to develop new efficient control methods to avoid OTA entering the food chain.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0168160517305573

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