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Advances in linking polyketides and non-ribosomal peptides to their biosynthetic gene clusters in Fusarium


The eukaryotic ascomycete genus Fusarium comprises many species capable of producing secondary metabolites important for agriculture, health, and biotechnology. Filamentous fungi share common physiological features, but even within Fusarium, there are significant differences that affect the success of biotechnological methods used to unravel biosynthetic pathways. The aim of this review is to describe the different methods that have successfully been used throughout the genus Fusarium to identify the products of novel biosynthetic pathways. The results are presented in tables to give the reader an overview and thereby enable the selection of the most appropriate method to the problem, regarding both species and target products. Significant work has gone into characterization of the underlying molecular genetics of secondary metabolites, but still, the products of only 25–30% of predicted gene clusters have been identified. In this review, we highlight existing knowledge and encourage the development of new techniques and strategies to provide access to the many unknown polyketide and non-ribosomal peptide products that await discovery in Fusarium.

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This study was funded by Novo Nordisk Foundation (Grant number NNF15OC0016028) to MRN.

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Correspondence to Jens Laurids Sørensen.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Communicated by M. Kupiec.

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Nielsen, M.R., Sondergaard, T.E., Giese, H. et al. Advances in linking polyketides and non-ribosomal peptides to their biosynthetic gene clusters in Fusarium. Curr Genet 65, 1263–1280 (2019).

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  • Fusarium
  • Secondary metabolites
  • Gene cluster
  • PKS
  • NRPS
  • Natural products