Identification and characterization of a Novel Secondary Metabolite Gene Cluster in Aspergillus nidulans

Kirsi Bromann, Mervi Toivari, Kaarina Viljanen, Anu Vuoristo, Laura Ruohonen, Tiina Nakari-Setälä

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsScientific


Fungal secondary metabolites are a rich source of medically useful compounds due to their pharmaceutical and toxic properties. Sequencing of fungal genomes has revealed numerous secondary metabolite gene clusters, yet products of many of these biosynthetic pathways are unknown since the expression of the clustered genes usually remains silent under normal laboratory conditions. We discovered a novel secondary metabolite in Aspergillus nidulans by predicting a biosynthetic gene cluster with genomic mining. We identified a Zn(II)2Cys6–type transcription factor and demonstrated its role as a pathway‐specific activator for the cluster genes. Quantitative real‐time PCR and DNA array analysis showed that overexpression of the putative transcription factor leads to upregulation of seven genes in the predicted cluster area. The GC/MS analysis of the strain with an activated gene cluster revealed production of a novel secondary metabolite for Aspergillus nidulans. In addition, we noted an increase in sexual fruiting body formation and a reduction in conidiation in the metabolite producing strain. The change in the fungal morphology seen in the overexpression strain could indicate a link between development and activated secondary metabolism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstracts from the 11th European Conference on Fungal Genetics
PublisherNew Prairie Press
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
Event11th European Conference on Fungal Genetics - Marburg, Germany
Duration: 30 Mar 20122 Apr 2012

Publication series

SeriesFungal Genetics Reports


Conference11th European Conference on Fungal Genetics


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