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J. Fungi 2017, 3(3), 39; doi:10.3390/jof3030039

Carotenoid Biosynthesis in Fusarium

1
Departamento de Genética, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Sevilla, 41012 Sevilla, Spain
2
Present Address: CONACYT-Instituto de Neurobiología-UNAM, Juriquilla, Querétaro 076230, Mexico
3
Departamento de Fitoquímica de los Alimentos, Instituto de la Grasa, CSIC, Campus Universidad Pablo de Olavide, 41013 Sevilla, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 June 2017 / Revised: 30 June 2017 / Accepted: 4 July 2017 / Published: 7 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Pigments)
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Abstract

Many fungi of the genus Fusarium stand out for the complexity of their secondary metabolism. Individual species may differ in their metabolic capacities, but they usually share the ability to synthesize carotenoids, a family of hydrophobic terpenoid pigments widely distributed in nature. Early studies on carotenoid biosynthesis in Fusarium aquaeductuum have been recently extended in Fusarium fujikuroi and Fusarium oxysporum, well-known biotechnological and phytopathogenic models, respectively. The major Fusarium carotenoid is neurosporaxanthin, a carboxylic xanthophyll synthesized from geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate through the activity of four enzymes, encoded by the genes carRA, carB, carT and carD. These fungi produce also minor amounts of β-carotene, which may be cleaved by the CarX oxygenase to produce retinal, the rhodopsin’s chromophore. The genes needed to produce retinal are organized in a gene cluster with a rhodopsin gene, while other carotenoid genes are not linked. In the investigated Fusarium species, the synthesis of carotenoids is induced by light through the transcriptional induction of the structural genes. In some species, deep-pigmented mutants with up-regulated expression of these genes are affected in the regulatory gene carS. The molecular mechanisms underlying the control by light and by the CarS protein are currently under investigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: neurosporaxanthin; xanthophyll; apocarotenoid; retinal; torulene; photoinduction; RING-Finger protein; carotenoid gene cluster neurosporaxanthin; xanthophyll; apocarotenoid; retinal; torulene; photoinduction; RING-Finger protein; carotenoid gene cluster
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Avalos, J.; Pardo-Medina, J.; Parra-Rivero, O.; Ruger-Herreros, M.; Rodríguez-Ortiz, R.; Hornero-Méndez, D.; Limón, M.C. Carotenoid Biosynthesis in Fusarium. J. Fungi 2017, 3, 39.

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