Functional characterization of the idtF and idtP genes in the Claviceps paspali indole diterpene biosynthetic gene cluster

László Kozák, Zoltán Szilágyi, László Tóth, István Pócsi, István Molnár

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Claviceps paspali is used in the pharmaceutical industry for the production of ergot alkaloids. This fungus also biosynthesizes paspalitrems, indole diterpene (IDT) mycotoxins that cause significant economic losses in agriculture and represent safety concerns for ergot alkaloid manufacture. Here, we use Agrobacterium-mediated transformation to replace the idtP and the idtF genes in the IDT biosynthetic gene cluster of C. paspali with a selectable marker gene. We show that the ΔidtP knockout mutant produces paspaline, the first IDT intermediate of the pathway. The ΔidtF strain produces unprenylated IDTs such as paspalinine and paspaline. These experiments validate the function of idtP as the gene encoding the cytochrome P450 monooxygenase that oxidizes and demethylates paspaline to produce 13-desoxypaxilline, and that of idtF as the gene that encodes the α-prenyltransferase that prenylates paspalinine at the C20 or the C21 positions to yield paspalitrems A and C, respectively. In addition, we also show that axenic cultures of the wild type, the ΔidtP and the ΔidtF mutant C. paspali strains fail to produce an assembly of IDTs that are present in C. paspali–Paspalum spp. associations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-613
Number of pages9
JournalFolia Microbiologica
Volume65
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology

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