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Fungal Genet Biol. 2003 Mar;38(2):237-49.

Co-expression of 15 contiguous genes delineates a fumonisin biosynthetic gene cluster in Gibberella moniliformis.

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  • 1US Department of Agriculture, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agriculture Research Service, 1815 North University St., Peoria, IL 61604, USA.


Fumonisins are mycotoxins produced by the maize pathogen Gibberella moniliformis and are associated with cancer in rodents. In this study, we determined the nucleotide sequence of a 75-kb region of G. moniliformis DNA and identified 18 heretofore undescribed genes flanking a cluster of five previously identified fumonisin biosynthetic (FUM) genes. Ten of the newly identified genes downstream of the cluster were coregulated with FUM genes and exhibited patterns of expression that were correlated with fumonisin production. BLASTX analyses indicated that the predicted functions of proteins encoded by the 10 genes were consistent with activities expected for fumonisin biosynthesis or self-protection. These data indicate that the 10 newly identified genes and the previously identified FUM genes constitute a fumonisin biosynthetic gene cluster. Disruption of two of the new genes, encoding longevity assurance factors, had no apparent effect on fumonisin production, but disruption of a third, encoding an ABC transporter, had a subtle effect on ratios of fumonisins produced.

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