, Volume 162, Issue 3, pp 201–213 | Cite as

Biosynthesis of dothistromin

  • Rosie E. Bradshaw
  • Shuguang Zhang


Dothistromin is a mycotoxin that is remarkably similar in structure to versicolorin B, a precursor of both aflatoxin and sterigmatocystin. Dothistromin-producing fungi also produce related compounds, including some aflatoxin precursors as well as alternative forms of dothistromin. Dothistromin is synthesized by pathogenic species of Dothistroma in the red bands of pine needles associated with needle blight, but is also made in culture where it is strongly secreted into the surrounding medium. Orthologs of aflatoxin and sterigmatocystin biosynthetic genes have been found that are required for the biosynthesis of dothistromin, along with others that are speculated to be involved in the same pathway on the basis of their sequence similarity to aflatoxin genes. An epoxide hydrolase gene that has no homolog in the aflatoxin or sterigmatocystin gene clusters is also clustered with the dothistromin genes, and all these genes appear to be located on a minichromosome in Dothistroma septosporum. The dothistromin genes are expressed at an early stage of growth, suggesting a role in the first stages of plant invasion by the fungus. Future studies are expected to reveal more about the role of dothistromin in needle blight and about the genomic organization and expression of dothistromin genes: these studies will provide for interesting comparisons with these aspects of aflatoxin and sterigmatocystin biosynthesis.


aflatoxin Dothistroma needle blight epoxide hydrolase gene cluster mycotoxin sterigmatocystin 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Centre for Advanced Bio-Protection TechnologiesInstitute of Molecular BioSciences, Massey UniversityPalmerston NorthNew Zealand

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