Author(s): McCormick SP, Harris LJ, Alexander NJ, Ouellet T, Saparno A,
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Abstract Gibberella zeae (asexual state Fusarium graminearum) is a major causal agent of wheat head blight and maize ear rot in North America and is responsible for contamination of grain with deoxynivalenol and related trichothecene mycotoxins. To identify additional trichothecene biosynthetic genes, cDNA libraries were prepared from fungal cultures under trichothecene-inducing conditions in culture and in planta. A gene designated LH1 that was highly expressed under these conditions exhibited only moderate (59\%) similarity to known trichothecene biosynthetic cytochrome P450s. To determine the function of LH1, gene disruptants were produced and assessed for trichothecene production. Gene disruptants no longer produced 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol, which is oxygenated at carbon 7 (C-7) and C-8, but rather accumulated calonectrin and 3-deacetylcalonectrin, which are not oxygenated at either C-7 or C-8. These results indicate that gene LH1 encodes a cytochrome P450 responsible for oxygenation at one or both of these positions. Despite the relatively low level of DNA and amino acid sequence similarity between the two genes, LH1 from G. zeae is the probable homologue of Tri1, which encodes a cytochrome P450 required for C-8 oxygenation in F. sporotrichioides.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Plant Pathology & Microbiology