Biosynthesis of microbial natural products has been attracting great interest in the scientific community and genetic studies of microorganisms seem to represent the reality of current researches involving biosynthesis of microbial natural products. The genome of the fungus Penicillium brasilianum was recently sequenced and final assembly revealed 252 supercontigs, which underwent gene predictions and automatic annotation. Functional analysis of the genome revealed 69 possible biosynthetic clusters being 11 of them related to polyketide biosynthesis via Type I PKS; 12 different clusters involved in the production of secondary metabolites formed via the NRPS enzymes; and six hybrids biosynthetic clusters, including the hybrid NRPS - terpene responsible for the biosynthesis of ergot alkaloids, indicating the great potential of this organism to produce bioactive secondary metabolites. The project aims the completion of the P. brasilianum genome annotation and manual curation due to its promising biotechnological potential, and further genetic studies in order to determine a transformation system and successful gene deletion studies targeting biosynthetic gene clusters found in this fungus. In particular, the obtaining of a mutant in the absence of PAL (phenylalanine ammonialyase) gene would help us to understand the formation of brasiliamides by P. brasilianum derived from phenylpropanoids with high similarity to the phenylpropanoids produced by plants. Our aims are to understand and exploit the genetic potential of this fungus for the production of important substances, and contribute to elucidate the biosintese of this fungal phenylpropanoid family.
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