Diversity of polyketide synthase gene sequences in Aspergillus species

János Varga, Krisztina Rigó, Sándor Kocsubé, Balázs Farkas, Károly Pál

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Citations (Scopus)


Fungal polyketide synthases are responsible for the biosynthesis of several mycotoxins and other secondary metabolites. The aim of our work was to investigate the diversity of polyketide synthases in Aspergillus species using two approaches: PCR amplification using oligonucleotide primers, and bioinformatics. Ketosynthase domain probes amplified DNA fragments of about 700 bp in each examined isolate. Sequences of these domains were aligned and analyzed by phylogenetic methods. The ketosynthase domain sequences were highly diverse indicating that they most probably represent polyketide synthases responsible for different functions. A. albertensis and A. niger ketosynthase domain sequences clustered together with sequences of genes required for pigment biosynthesis (wA) in A. nidulans and P. patulum, while the ketosynthase domain sequence of A. muricatus was most closely related to an A. parasiticus wA type domain sequence, and those of the A. ochraceus isolates formed a distinct clade on the tree. These sequences were highly homologous to an A. terreus naphthopyrone synthase gene. An Aspergillus fumigatus genomic database was also searched for ketosynthase domain sequences, which have been included in the phylogenetic analysis. Altogether 14 putative ketosynthase domain sequences were identified. Clustering of the ketosynthase domain sequences correlated well with the type of metabolites produced by the corresponding polyketide synthases. At least 8 clusters with putative ketosynthase domain sequences of unknown function have been identified. Further studies are in progress to clarify the role of some of the identified polyketide synthase genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-600
Number of pages8
JournalResearch in Microbiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003


  • Aspergillus
  • Genomics
  • Ketosynthase domain
  • Mycotoxin
  • Ochratoxin
  • Phylogenetics
  • Polyketide synthase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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