Genome Mining for Fungal Secondary Metabolic Gene Clusters

  • Grayson T. Wawrzyn
  • Mark A. Held
  • Sarah E. Bloch
  • Claudia Schmidt-DannertEmail author
Part of the Fungal Biology book series (FUNGBIO)


Fungi are known for their ability to produce a vast array of valuable chemical compounds, which are utilized in biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry. In this chapter, we outline recent advances in the development of genomic and bioinformatics resources for the discovery of genes involved in natural product biosynthesis, focusing on the major natural product classes: polyketides, nonribosomal peptides, and terpenes. These groups of compounds are all produced from simple, scaffold molecules that are further modified to create a diverse portfolio of bioactive products. Biosynthetic clusters of genes responsible for the production of these compounds are prolific in fungal systems and typically include key scaffold-producing enzymes and a multitude of modification enzymes. This chapter highlights how the recent explosion in bioinformatics tools and genomic resources can be applied to mining fungal genomes for the novel natural product biosynthetic pathways, providing key examples of well-studied fungal biosynthetic gene clusters.


Fungal metabolites Genome mining Polyketide Nonribosomal peptide Terpene Bioinformatics Natural products 



Research on terpenoid biosynthesis in C.S-D’s laboratory is supported by the National Institute of Health Grant GM080299 (to C.S-D.). G.T.W. and S.E.B. were supported by the predoctoral National Institute of Health traineeship: GM08700 (G.T.W.) and GM008347 (S.E.B.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grayson T. Wawrzyn
    • 1
  • Mark A. Held
    • 1
  • Sarah E. Bloch
    • 1
  • Claudia Schmidt-Dannert
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and BiophysicsUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA

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