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Chem Biol. 2012 Jun 22;19(6):772-83. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2012.05.012.

Draft genome of Omphalotus olearius provides a predictive framework for sesquiterpenoid natural product biosynthesis in Basidiomycota.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA.


The secondary metabolome of Basidiomycota represents a largely uncharacterized source of pharmaceutically relevant natural products. Terpenoids are the primary class of bioactive compounds isolated from mushrooms. The Jack O'Lantern mushroom Omphalotus olearius was identified 50 years ago as a prolific producer of anticancer illudin sesquiterpenoids; however, to date there have been exceptionally few studies into the biosynthesis of these important compounds. Here, we report the draft genome sequence of O. olearius, which reveals a diverse network of sesquiterpene synthases and two metabolic gene clusters associated with illudin biosynthesis. Characterization of the sesquiterpene synthases enabled a comprehensive survey of all currently available Basidiomycota genomes, thereby creating a predictive resource for terpenoid natural product biosynthesis in these organisms. Our results will facilitate discovery and biosynthetic production of unique pharmaceutically relevant bioactive compounds from Basidiomycota.

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