Calm Before the Storm: A Glimpse into the Secondary Metabolism of Aspergillus welwitschiae, the Etiologic Agent of the Sisal Bole Rot
Quintanilha-Peixoto, Gabriel ; Torres, Rosimére Oliveira ; Alves Reis, Isabella Mary ; Alves Santos de Oliveira, Thiago ; Bortolini, Dener Eduardo ; Alves Duarte, Elizabeth Amélia ; Ariston de Carvalho Azevedo, Vasco ; Brenig, Bertram et al.
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/17112
Aspergillus welwitschiae is a species of the Nigri section of the genus Aspergillus. In nature, it is usually a saprotroph, decomposing plant material. However, it causes the bole rot disease of Agave sisalana (sisal), a plant species used for the extraction of hard natural fibers, causing great economic loss to this culture. In this study, we isolated and sequenced one genome of A. welwitschiae (isolate CCMB 674 (Collection of Cultures of Microorganisms of Bahia)) from the stem tissues of sisal and performed in silico and wet lab experimental strategies to describe its ability to produce mycotoxins. CCMB 674 possesses 64 secondary metabolite gene clusters (SMGCs) and, under normal conditions, it produces secondary metabolism compounds that could disturb the cellular cycle of sisal or induce abnormalities in plant growth, such as malformin C. This isolate also produces a pigment that might explain the characteristic red color of the affected tissues. Additionally, this isolate is defective for the production of fumonisin B1, and, despite bearing the full cluster for the synthesis of this compound, it did not produce ochratoxin A. Altogether, these results provide new information on possible strategies used by the fungi during the sisal bole rot, helping to better understand this disease and how to control it.