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Mycol Res. 2004 Jul;108(Pt 7):815-22.

Discontinuous distribution of fumonisin biosynthetic genes in the Gibberella fujikuroi species complex.

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USDA Agriculture Research Service, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Peoria, IL 61604-3999, USA.


Production of the carcinogenic mycotoxins fumonisins has been reported in several Fusarium species, most of which are members of the Gibberella fujikuroi (Gf) complex. In this study, we examined 15 Fusarium species in the Gf complex and 12 other species for fumonisin production and the presence of fumonisin biosynthetic genes (FUM). Among the species within the Gf complex, fumonisin production was detected only in F. fujikuroi, F. globosum, F. proliferatum, F. nygamai, F. oxysporum and F. verticillioides. These five species include members of two of the three major clades delineated in the Gf complex. The FUM genes were detected in these same five species and in F. anthophilum, a member of the third clade. Among the species outside the Gf complex, fumonisin production and FUM genes were detected only in F. oxysporum. Phylogenetic analyses of nucleotide sequences from two FUM gene fragments inferred relationships similar but not identical to those inferred from previous analyses of other genes. The results indicate the FUM genes are discontinuously distributed in the Gf complex and that this distribution gives rise to the differences in the abilities of closely related Fusarium species to produce fumonisins.

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