Functional analysis of the polyketide synthase genes in the filamentous fungus gibberella zeae (anamorph fusarium graminearum)
Polyketides are a class of secondary metabolites that exhibit a vast diversity of form and function. In fungi, these compounds are produced by large, multidomain enzymes classified as type I polyketide synthases (PKSs). In this study we identified and functionally disrupted 15 PKS genes from the genome of the filamentous fungus Gibberella zeae. Five of these genes are responsible for producing the mycotoxins zearalenone, aurofusarin, and fusarin C and the black perithecial pigment. A comprehensive expression analysis of the 15 genes revealed diverse expression patterns during grain colonization, plant colonization, sexual development, and mycelial growth. Expression of one of the PKS genes was not detected under any of 18 conditions tested. This is the first study to genetically characterize a complete set of PKS genes from a single organism.