Depside and Depsidone Synthesis in Lichenized Fungi Comes into Focus through a Genome-Wide Comparison of the Olivetoric Acid and Physodic Acid Chemotypes of Pseudevernia furfuracea.
Primary biosynthetic enzymes involved in the synthesis of lichen polyphenolic compounds depsides and depsidones are non-reducing polyketide synthases (NR-PKSs), and cytochrome P450s. However, for most depsides and depsidones the corresponding PKSs are unknown. Additionally, in non-lichenized fungi specific fatty acid synthases (FASs) provide starters to the PKSs. Yet, the presence of such FASs in lichenized fungi remains to be investigated. Here we implement comparative genomics and metatranscriptomics to identify the most likely PKS and FASs for olivetoric acid and physodic acid biosynthesis, the primary depside and depsidone defining the two chemotypes of the lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea. We propose that the gene cluster PF33-1_006185, found in both chemotypes, is the most likely candidate for the olivetoric acid and physodic acid biosynthesis. This is the first study to identify the gene cluster and the FAS likely responsible for olivetoric acid and physodic acid biosynthesis in a lichenized fungus. Our findings suggest that gene regulation and other epigenetic factors determine whether the mycobiont produces the depside or the depsidone, providing the first direct indication that chemotype diversity in lichens can arise through regulatory and not only through genetic diversity. Combining these results and existing literature, we propose a detailed scheme for depside/depsidone synthesis.
Singh, G; Armaleo, D; Dal Grande, F; Schmitt, I
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