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Open AccessArticle

Calm Before the Storm: A Glimpse into the Secondary Metabolism of Aspergillus welwitschiae, the Etiologic Agent of the Sisal Bole Rot

1
Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte 31270-901, Minas Gerais, Brazil
2
Laboratório de Fitoquímica, Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana, Feira de Santana 44036-900, Bahia, Brazil
3
Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Estadual de Feira de Santana, Feira de Santana 44036-900, Bahia, Brazil
4
Centro de Ciências Agrárias, Ambientais e Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Recôncavo da Bahia, Cruz das Almas 44380-000, Bahia, Brazil
5
Institute of Veterinary Medicine, University of Göttingen, 37073 Göttingen, Germany
6
Instituto de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador 40231-300, Bahia, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
G.Q.-P. and R.O.T. should be considered joint first author.
Toxins 2019, 11(11), 631; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11110631
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 24 October 2019 / Accepted: 28 October 2019 / Published: 30 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins: Producing Fungi and Mechanisms of Phytotoxicity)
Aspergillus welwitschiae is a species of the Nigri section of the genus Aspergillus. In nature, it is usually a saprotroph, decomposing plant material. However, it causes the bole rot disease of Agave sisalana (sisal), a plant species used for the extraction of hard natural fibers, causing great economic loss to this culture. In this study, we isolated and sequenced one genome of A. welwitschiae (isolate CCMB 674 (Collection of Cultures of Microorganisms of Bahia)) from the stem tissues of sisal and performed in silico and wet lab experimental strategies to describe its ability to produce mycotoxins. CCMB 674 possesses 64 secondary metabolite gene clusters (SMGCs) and, under normal conditions, it produces secondary metabolism compounds that could disturb the cellular cycle of sisal or induce abnormalities in plant growth, such as malformin C. This isolate also produces a pigment that might explain the characteristic red color of the affected tissues. Additionally, this isolate is defective for the production of fumonisin B1, and, despite bearing the full cluster for the synthesis of this compound, it did not produce ochratoxin A. Altogether, these results provide new information on possible strategies used by the fungi during the sisal bole rot, helping to better understand this disease and how to control it. View Full-Text
Keywords: phytotoxic; mycotoxin; red rot of sisal phytotoxic; mycotoxin; red rot of sisal
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Quintanilha-Peixoto, G.; Torres, R.O.; Reis, I.M.A.; Oliveira, T.A.S.; Bortolini, D.E.; Duarte, E.A.A.; Ariston de Carvalho Azevedo, V.; Brenig, B.; Aguiar, E.R.G.R.; Soares, A.C.F.; Góes-Neto, A.; Branco, A. Calm Before the Storm: A Glimpse into the Secondary Metabolism of Aspergillus welwitschiae, the Etiologic Agent of the Sisal Bole Rot. Toxins 2019, 11, 631.

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