Comparative genomics and gene cluster identification in 28 species of Aspergillus section Nigri.
Tammi Camilla Vesth (Invited speaker)
Activity: Talks and presentations › Conference presentations
The filamentous fungus Aspergillus niger and its close relatives in Aspergillus section Nigri are of broad interest to the scientific community including applied, medical and basic research. The fungi are prolific producers of native and heterologous proteins, organic acids (in particular citrate), and secondary metabolites (including bioactives and toxins such as ochratoxin A). Because of these abilities they represent a substantial economic interests in bioenergy applications. While 8 individual species from this group has been whole- genome sequenced, the genetic basis for these diverse phenotypes remains largely unidentified. In this study, we have de novo sequenced the genomes of 20 additional species of the section Nigri, thus allowing the genome comparison of all members of this important section of fungal species. Here we present the results of this large-scale genomic analysis where we have examined the core genome of these 28 species and identified variations in the genetic makeup of individual species and groups of species. In particular, we have found genes unique to Aspergillus section Nigri, as well as genes which are only found in subgroups of the section. Our analysis here correlates these genes to the phenotypes of the fungi. Furthermore, we have predicted secondary metabolite gene clusters in all 28 species. We present here an overview of these gene clusters and how they are shared and vary between species. We also correlate the presence of gene clusters to presence of known fungal metabolites.