Characterization of NRPS and PKS genes involved in the biosynthesis of SMs in Alternaria dauci including the phytotoxic polyketide aldaulactone

Julia Courtial, Jean Jacques Helesbeux, Hugo Oudart, Sophie Aligon, Muriel Bahut, Bruno Hamon, Guillaume N’Guyen, Sandrine Pigné, Ahmed G. Hussain, Claire Pascouau, Nelly Bataillé-Simoneau, Jérôme Collemare, Romain Berruyer*, Pascal Poupard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Alternaria dauci is a Dothideomycete fungus, causal agent of carrot leaf blight. As a member of the Alternaria genus, known to produce a lot of secondary metabolite toxins, A. dauci is also supposed to synthetize host specific and non-host specific toxins playing a crucial role in pathogenicity. This study provides the first reviewing of secondary metabolism genetic basis in the Alternaria genus by prediction of 55 different putative core genes. Interestingly, aldaulactone, a phytotoxic benzenediol lactone from A. dauci, was demonstrated as important in pathogenicity and in carrot partial resistance to this fungus. As nothing is known about aldaulactone biosynthesis, bioinformatic analyses on a publicly available A. dauci genome data set that were reassembled, thanks to a transcriptome data set described here, allowed to identify 19 putative secondary metabolism clusters. We exploited phylogeny to pinpoint cluster 8 as a candidate in aldaulactone biosynthesis. This cluster contains AdPKS7 and AdPKS8, homologs with genes encoding a reducing and a non-reducing polyketide synthase. Clusters containing such a pair of PKS genes have been identified in the biosynthesis of resorcylic acid lactones or dihydroxyphenylacetic acid lactones. AdPKS7 and AdPKS8 gene expression patterns correlated with aldaulactone production in different experimental conditions. The present results highly suggest that both genes are responsible for aldaulactone biosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8155
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2022


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