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Biotechnol Lett. 2011 Oct;33(10):1921-31. doi: 10.1007/s10529-011-0664-y. Epub 2011 Jun 10.

The significance of peroxisomes in secondary metabolite biosynthesis in filamentous fungi.

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Molecular Cell Biology, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB), University of Groningen, Kluyver Centre for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation, P.O. Box 11103, 9700 CC Groningen, The Netherlands.


Peroxisomes are ubiquitous organelles characterized by a protein-rich matrix surrounded by a single membrane. In filamentous fungi, peroxisomes are crucial for the primary metabolism of several unusual carbon sources used for growth (e.g. fatty acids), but increasing evidence is presented that emphasize the crucial role of these organelles in the formation of a variety of secondary metabolites. In filamentous fungi, peroxisomes also play a role in development and differentiation whereas specialized peroxisomes, the Woronin bodies, play a structural role in plugging septal pores. The biogenesis of peroxisomes in filamentous fungi involves the function of conserved PEX genes, as well as genes that are unique for these organisms. Peroxisomes are also subject to autophagic degradation, a process that involves ATG genes. The interplay between organelle biogenesis and degradation may serve a quality control function, thereby allowing a continuous rejuvenation of the organelle population in the cells.

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