Distribution and evolution of nonribosomal peptide synthetase gene clusters in the Ceratocystidaceae

24 Aug 2020

In filamentous fungi, genes in secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways are generally clustered. In the case of those pathways involved in nonribosomal peptide production, a nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) gene is commonly found as a main element of the cluster. Large multifunctional enzymes are encoded by members of this gene family that produce a broad spectrum of bioactive compounds. In this research, we applied genome-based identification of nonribosomal peptide biosynthetic gene clusters in the family Ceratocystidaceae. For this purpose, we used the whole genome sequences of species from the genera Ceratocystis, Davidsoniella, Thielaviopsis, Endoconidiophora, Bretziella, Huntiella, and Ambrosiella. To identify and characterize the clusters, di erent bioinformatics and phylogenetic approaches, as well as PCR-based methods were used. In all genomes studied, two highly conserved NRPS genes (one monomodular and one multimodular) were identified and their potential products were predicted to be siderophores. Expression analysis of two Huntiella species (H. moniliformis and H. omanensis) confirmed the accuracy of the annotations and proved that the genes in both clusters are expressed. Furthermore, a phylogenetic analysis showed that both NRPS genes of the Ceratocystidaceae formed distinct and well supported clades in their respective phylograms, where they grouped with other known NRPSs involved in siderophore production. Overall, these findings improve our understanding of the diversity and evolution of NRPS biosynthetic pathways in the family Ceratocystidaceae.