Biosynthetic gene content of the "Perfume Lichens" Evernia prunastri and Pseudevernia furfuracea

  • Lichen-forming fungi produce a vast number of unique natural products with a wide variety of biological activities and human uses. Although lichens have remarkable potential in natural product research and industry, the molecular mechanisms underlying the biosynthesis of lichen metabolites are poorly understood. Here we use genome mining and comparative genomics to assess biosynthetic gene clusters and their putative regulators in the genomes of two lichen-forming fungi, which have substantial commercial value in the perfume industry, Evernia prunastri and Pseudevernia furfuracea. We report a total of 80 biosynthetic gene clusters (polyketide synthases (PKS), non-ribosomal peptide synthetases and terpene synthases) in E. prunastri and 51 in P. furfuracea. We present an in-depth comparison of 11 clusters, which show high homology between the two species. A ketosynthase (KS) phylogeny shows that biosynthetic gene clusters from E. prunastri and P. furfuracea are widespread across the Fungi. The phylogeny includes 15 genomes of lichenized fungi and all fungal PKSs with known functions from the MIBiG database. Phylogenetically closely related KS domains predict not only similar PKS architecture but also similar cluster architecture. Our study highlights the untapped biosynthetic richness of lichen-forming fungi, provides new insights into lichen biosynthetic pathways and facilitates heterologous expression of lichen biosynthetic gene clusters.

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Author:Anjuli CalcheraORCiDGND, Francesco Dal GrandeORCiD, Helge Björn BodeORCiDGND, Imke SchmittORCiDGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Molecules
Place of publication:Basel
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Date of first Publication:2019/01/08
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/01/15
Tag:biosynthetic gene clusters; comparative genomics; lichen secondary metabolites; non-ribosomal peptide synthetases; oakmoss; phylogeny; polyketide synthases; terpene synthases; transcription factor; tree moss
Issue:1, Art. 203
Page Number:21
First Page:1
Last Page:21
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
Institutes:Biowissenschaften / Biowissenschaften
Angeschlossene und kooperierende Institutionen / Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft
Biowissenschaften / Institut für Ökologie, Evolution und Diversität
Fachübergreifende Einrichtungen / Biodiversität und Klima Forschungszentrum (BiK-F)
Dewey Decimal Classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 57 Biowissenschaften; Biologie / 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0