Caister Academic Press

Genomics and Secondary Metabolism in Aspergillus

Geoffrey Turner
from: Aspergillus: Molecular Biology and Genomics (Edited by: Masayuki Machida and Katsuya Gomi). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)


The availability of genome sequences from several species of Aspergillus has facilitated the identification of a large number of putative secondary metabolism genes and gene clusters which were previously unknown. While some limited prediction of function has been possible through bioinformatics, functional analysis has been necessary to confirm such predictions. Some of the putative secondary metabolism genes are not expressed at a sufficient level to detect products. This difficulty can sometimes be overcome by manipulating regulatory and structural genes to obtain expression, or by studying different strains of the same species, since expression can be strain dependent. Comparison of the genomes of Aspergillus species has revealed a surprising degree of secondary metabolic diversity within the genus, and provided some insights into how new clusters might evolve. There are also examples of clusters in some Aspergillus species for which orthologues are found to be present in other genera, but are absent from other Aspergillus species. Any future model for evolution of secondary metabolism must account for this unusual distribution pattern read more ...
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