Secondary Metabolism Gene Clusters Exhibit Increasingly Dynamic and Differential Expression during Asexual Growth, Conidiation, and Sexual Development in Neurospora crassa

Zheng Wang, Francesc Lopez-Giraldez, Jason Slot, Oded Yarden, Frances Trail, Jeffrey P. Townsend*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Secondary metabolite clusters (SMCs) encode the machinery for fungal toxin production. However, understanding their function and analyzing their products requires investigation of the developmental and environmental conditions in which they are expressed. Gene expression is often restricted to specific and unexamined stages of the life cycle. Therefore, we applied comparative genomics analyses to identify SMCs in Neurospora crassa and analyzed extensive transcriptomic data spanning nine independent experiments from diverse developmental and environmental conditions to reveal their life cycle-specific gene expression patterns. We reported 20 SMCs comprising 177 genes—a manageable set for investigation of the roles of SMCs across the life cycle of the fungal model N. crassa—as well as gene sets coordinately expressed in 18 predicted SMCs during asexual and sexual growth under three nutritional and two temperature conditions. Divergent activity of SMCs between asexual and sexual development was reported. Of 126 SMC genes that we examined for knockout phenotypes, al-2 and al-3 exhibited phenotypes in asexual growth and conidiation, whereas os-5, poi-2, and pmd-1 exhibited phenotypes in sexual development. SMCs with annotated function in mating and crossing were actively regulated during the switch between asexual and sexual growth. Our discoveries call for attention to roles that SMCs may play in the regulatory switches controlling mode of development, as well as the ecological associations of those developmental stages that may influence expression of SMCs.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalmSystems
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Wang et al.

Keywords

  • Neurospora crassa
  • asexual development
  • environmental microbiology
  • filamentous fungi
  • gene cluster
  • secondary metabolism
  • sexual development
  • transcriptomics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Secondary Metabolism Gene Clusters Exhibit Increasingly Dynamic and Differential Expression during Asexual Growth, Conidiation, and Sexual Development in Neurospora crassa'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this