Careful with That Axe, Gene, Genome Perturbation after a PEG-Mediated Protoplast Transformation in Fusarium verticillioides
Consiglio per la Ricerca in Agricoltura e l’Analisi dell’Economia Agraria - Research Center for Plant Protection and Certification, 00156 Roma, Italy
Department Environmental Biology, Università Sapienza, 00185 Roma, Italy
Sequentia-Biotech SL, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Department Food Chemistry, Università di Parma, 43120 Parma, Italy
Department Sustainable Crop Production, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, 29100 Piacenza, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This author equally contributes to the work.
Academic Editor: Jiujiang Yu
Toxins 2017, 9(6), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins9060183
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 22 May 2017 / Accepted: 26 May 2017 / Published: 31 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Collection Evolutionary/Phylogenetic Studies of Mycotoxin Biosynthetic Pathways)
Fusarium verticillioides causes ear rot disease in maize and its contamination with fumonisins, mycotoxins harmful for humans and livestock. Lipids, and their oxidized forms, may drive the fate of this disease. In a previous study, we have explored the role of oxylipins in this interaction by deleting by standard transformation procedures a linoleate diol synthase-coding gene, lds1, in F. verticillioides. A profound phenotypic diversity in the mutants generated has prompted us to investigate more deeply the whole genome of two lds1-deleted strains. Bioinformatics analyses pinpoint significant differences in the genome sequences emerged between the wild type and the lds1-mutants further than those trivially attributable to the deletion of the lds1 locus, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms, small deletion/insertion polymorphisms and structural variations. Results suggest that the effect of a (theoretically) punctual transformation event might have enhanced the natural mechanisms of genomic variability and that transformation practices, commonly used in the reverse genetics of fungi, may potentially be responsible for unexpected, stochastic and henceforth off-target rearrangements throughout the genome.