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Genetics of Dothistromin Biosynthesis in the Peanut Pathogen Passalora arachidicola

Bio-Protection Research Centre, Institute of Molecular BioSciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Integrated Bioactive Technologies, Industrial Research Limited, PO Box 31-310, Lower Hutt 5040, New Zealand.
Toxins 2010, 2(12), 2738-2753;
Received: 2 November 2010 / Revised: 19 November 2010 / Accepted: 26 November 2010 / Published: 29 November 2010
PDF [641 KB, uploaded 29 November 2010]


The peanut leaf spot pathogen Passalora arachidicola (Mycosphaerella arachidis) is known to produce dothistromin, a mycotoxin related to aflatoxin. This is a feature shared with the pine needle pathogen Dothistroma septosporum (Mycosphaerella pini). Dothistromin biosynthesis in D. septosporum commences at an unusually early stage of growth in culture compared to most other fungal secondary metabolites, and the biosynthetic genes are arranged in fragmented groups, in contrast to aflatoxin gene clusters. Dothistromin biosynthetic genes were identified and studied in P. arachidicola to determine if the attributes described in D. septosporum are shared by another dothistromin-producing species within the Class Dothideomycetes. It was shown that dothistromin biosynthesis is very similar in the two species with regard to gene sequence and gene synteny. Functional complementation of D. septosporum mutants with P. arachidicola dothistromin genes was also possible. These similarities support a vertical mode of dothistromin gene transmission. P. arachidicola also produced dothistromin at an early growth stage in culture, suggesting that this type of regulation pattern may be relevant to the biological role of dothistromin. View Full-Text
Keywords: aflatoxin; gene cluster; gene regulation; mycotoxin; Dothistroma aflatoxin; gene cluster; gene regulation; mycotoxin; Dothistroma

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Zhang, S.; Guo, Y.; Bradshaw, R.E. Genetics of Dothistromin Biosynthesis in the Peanut Pathogen Passalora arachidicola. Toxins 2010, 2, 2738-2753.

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