Regulation of trichothecene biosynthesis in Fusarium: recent advances and new insights
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- Merhej, J., Richard-Forget, F. & Barreau, C. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol (2011) 91: 519. doi:10.1007/s00253-011-3397-x
Trichothecenes are toxic secondary metabolites produced by filamentous fungi mainly belonging to the Fusarium genus. Production of these mycotoxins occurs during infection of crops and is a threat to human and animal health. Although the pathway for biosynthesis of trichothecenes is well established, the regulation of the Tri genes implicated in the pathway remains poorly understood. Most of the Tri genes are gathered in a cluster which contains two transcriptional regulators controlling the expression of the other Tri genes. The regulation of secondary metabolites biosynthesis in most fungal genera has been recently shown to be controlled by various regulatory systems in response to external environment. The control of the “Tri cluster” by non-cluster regulators in Fusarium was not clearly demonstrated until recently. This review covers the recent advances concerning the regulation of trichothecene biosynthesis in Fusarium and highlights the potential implication of various general regulatory circuits. Further studies on the role of these regulatory systems in the control of trichothecene biosynthesis might be useful in designing new strategies to reduce mycotoxin accumulation.