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  • 1 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Szeged P.O. Box 533, H-6701 Szeged, Hungary
  • 2 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Szeged P.O. Box 533, H-6701 Szeged, Hungary
  • 3 Cereal Research non-Profit Company P.O.Box 391, H-6701 Szeged, Hungary
  • 4 Cereal Research non-Profit Company P.O.Box 391, H-6701 Szeged, Hungary
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Fungal nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) are responsible for the biosynthesis of numerous metabolites which serve as virulence factors in several plant-pathogen interactions. The aim of our work was to investigate the diversity of these genes in a Fusarium graminearum sequence database using bioinformatic techniques. Our search identified 15 NRPS sequences, among which two were found to be closely related to peptide synthetases of various fungi taking part in ferrichrome biosynthesis. Another peptide synthetase gene was similar to that identified in Aspergillus oryzae which is possibly responsible for the biosynthesis of fusarinine, an extracellular iron-chelating siderophore. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the identification of a putative NRPS gene possibly responsible for the biosynthesis of fusarinine-type siderophores. The other NRPSs were found to be related to peptide synthetases taking part in the biosynthesis of various peptides in other fungi. Transcription factors carrying ankyrin repeats were observed in the vicinity of four of the identified peptide synthetase genes. Additionally, NRPS related genes similar to putative long-chain fatty acid CoA ligases, acyl CoA ligases, ABC transport proteins, a highly conserved putative transmembrane protein of Aspergillus nidulans, and a-aminoadipate reductases have also been identified. Further studies are in progress to clarify the role of some of the identified NRPS genes in plant pathogenesis.

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