Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    The pentose phosphate pathway of cellulolytic clostridia relies on 6-phosphofructokinase instead of transaldolase
    Koendjbiharie, Jeroen G. ; Hon, Shuen ; Pabst, Martin ; Hooftman, Robert ; Stevenson, David M. ; Cui, Jingxuan ; Amador-Noguez, Daniel ; Lynd, Lee R. ; Olson, Daniel G. ; Kranenburg, Richard van - \ 2020
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 295 (2020)7. - ISSN 0021-9258 - p. 1867 - 1878.

    The genomes of most cellulolytic clostridia do not contain genes annotated as transaldolase. Therefore, for assimilating pentose sugars or for generating C5 precursors (such as ribose) during growth on other (non-C5) substrates, they must possess a pathway that connects pentose metabolism with the rest of metabolism. Here we provide evidence that for this connection cellulolytic clostridia rely on the sedoheptulose 1,7-bisphosphate (SBP) pathway, using pyrophosphate-dependent phosphofructokinase (PPi-PFK) instead of transaldolase. In this reversible pathway, PFK converts sedoheptulose 7-phosphate (S7P) to SBP, after which fructose-bisphosphate aldolase cleaves SBP into dihydroxyacetone phosphate and erythrose 4-phosphate. We show that PPi-PFKs of Clostridium thermosuccinogenes and Clostridium thermocellum indeed can convert S7P to SBP, and have similar affinities for S7P and the canonical substrate fructose 6-phosphate (F6P). By contrast, (ATP-dependent) PfkA of Escherichia coli, which does rely on transaldolase, had a very poor affinity for S7P. This indicates that the PPi-PFK of cellulolytic clostridia has evolved the use of S7P. We further show that C. thermosuccinogenes contains a significant SBP pool, an unusual metabolite that is elevated during growth on xylose, demonstrating its relevance for pentose assimilation. Last, we demonstrate that a second PFK of C. thermosuccinogenes that operates with ATP and GTP exhibits unusual kinetics toward F6P, as it appears to have an extremely high degree of cooperative binding, resulting in a virtual on/off switch for substrate concentrations near its K1/2 value. In summary, our results confirm the existence of an SBP pathway for pentose assimilation in cellulolytic clostridia.

    Erratum to: The sponge microbiome project
    Moitinho-Silva, Lucas ; Nielsen, Shaun ; Amir, Amnon ; Gonzalez, Antonio ; Ackermann, Gail L. ; Cerrano, Carlo ; Astudillo-Garcia, Carmen ; Easson, Cole ; Sipkema, Detmer ; Liu, Fang ; Steinert, Georg ; Kotoulas, Giorgos ; McCormack, Grace P. ; Feng, Guofang ; Bell, James J. ; Vicente, Jan ; Björk, Johannes R. ; Montoya, Jose M. ; Olson, Julie B. ; Reveillaud, Julie ; Steindler, Laura ; Pineda, Mari Carmen ; Marra, Maria V. ; Ilan, Micha ; Taylor, Michael W. ; Polymenakou, Paraskevi ; Erwin, Patrick M. ; Schupp, Peter J. ; Simister, Rachel L. ; Knight, Rob ; Thacker, Robert W. ; Costa, Rodrigo ; Hill, Russell T. ; Lopez-Legentil, Susanna ; Dailianis, Thanos ; Ravasi, Timothy ; Hentschel, Ute ; Li, Zhiyong ; Webster, Nicole S. ; Thomas, Torsten - \ 2018
    GigaScience 7 (2018)12. - ISSN 2047-217X
    Rim-Differentiated C5-Symmetric Tiara-Pillar[5]arenes
    Guo, Minjie ; Wang, Xuemei ; Zhan, Caihong ; Demay-Drouhard, Paul ; Li, Wenjiao ; Du, Ke ; Olson, Mark A. ; Zuilhof, Han ; Sue, Andrew C.H. - \ 2018
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 140 (2018)1. - ISSN 0002-7863 - p. 74 - 77.
    The synthesis of "rim-differentiated" C5-symmetric pillar[5]arenes, whose two rims are decorated with different chemical functionalities, has remained a challenging task. This is due to the inherent statistical nature of the cyclization of 1,4-disubstituted alkoxybenzenes with different substituents, which leads to four constitutional isomers with only 1/16th being rim-differentiated. Herein, we report a "preoriented" synthetic protocol based on FeCl3-catalyzed cyclization of asymmetrically substituted 2,5-dialkoxybenzyl alcohols. This yields an unprecedented 55% selectivity of the C5-symmetric tiara-like pillar[5]arene isomer among four constitutional isomers. Based on this new method, a series of functionalizable tiara-pillar[5]arene derivatives with C5-symmetry was successfully synthesized, isolated, and fully characterized in the solid state.
    CCDC 1559785: Experimental Crystal Structure Determination
    Guo, Minjie ; Wang, Xuemei ; Zhan, Caihong ; Demay-Drouhard, Paul ; Li, Wenjiao ; Du, Ke ; Olson, Mark A. ; Zuilhof, H. ; Sue, Andrew C.H. - \ 2017
    Tianjin University
    YERMIU : 1-((prop-2-en-1-yl)oxy)-4-methoxypillar(5)arene n-hexane solvate
    CCDC 1559786: Experimental Crystal Structure Determination
    Guo, Minjie ; Wang, Xuemei ; Zhan, Caihong ; Demay-Drouhard, Paul ; Li, Wenjiao ; Du, Ke ; Olson, Mark A. ; Zuilhof, H. ; Sue, Andrew C.H. - \ 2017
    Tianjin University
    YERMOA : 1-(2-bromoethoxy)-4-methoxypillar(5)arene n-hexane solvate
    CCDC 1559787: Experimental Crystal Structure Determination
    Guo, Minjie ; Wang, Xuemei ; Zhan, Caihong ; Demay-Drouhard, Paul ; Li, Wenjiao ; Du, Ke ; Olson, Mark A. ; Zuilhof, H. ; Sue, Andrew C.H. - \ 2017
    Tianjin University
    YERMUG : 1-((but-3-en-1-yl)oxy)-4-methoxypillar(5)arene n-hexane solvate
    CCDC 1571544: Experimental Crystal Structure Determination
    Guo, Minjie ; Wang, Xuemei ; Zhan, Caihong ; Demay-Drouhard, Paul ; Li, Wenjiao ; Du, Ke ; Olson, Mark A. ; Zuilhof, H. ; Sue, Andrew C.H. - \ 2017
    Tianjin University
    YERNAN : 1-((prop-2-en-1-yl)oxy)-4-((prop-2-yn-1-yl)oxy)pillar(5)arene n-hexane solvate
    CCDC 1571589: Experimental Crystal Structure Determination
    Guo, Minjie ; Wang, Xuemei ; Zhan, Caihong ; Demay-Drouhard, Paul ; Li, Wenjiao ; Du, Ke ; Olson, Mark A. ; Zuilhof, H. ; Sue, Andrew C.H. - \ 2017
    Tianjin University
    YERNER : 1-(3-bromopropoxy)-4-methoxypillar(5)arene acetonitrile solvate
    CCDC 1586557: Experimental Crystal Structure Determination
    Guo, Minjie ; Wang, Xuemei ; Zhan, Caihong ; Demay-Drouhard, Paul ; Li, Wenjiao ; Du, Ke ; Olson, Mark A. ; Zuilhof, H. ; Sue, Andrew C.H. - \ 2017
    Tianjin University
    YERSIA : 1-(3-azidopropoxy)-4-methoxypillar(5)arene
    CCDC 1559844: Experimental Crystal Structure Determination
    Guo, Minjie ; Wang, Xuemei ; Zhan, Caihong ; Demay-Drouhard, Paul ; Li, Wenjiao ; Du, Ke ; Olson, Mark A. ; Zuilhof, H. ; Sue, Andrew C.H. - \ 2017
    Tianjin University
    YERTAT : 4,9,14,19,24-pentamethoxy-27,29,31,33,35-pentakis[(prop-2-yn-1-yl)oxy]hexacyclo[21.2.2.23,6.28,11.213,16.218,21]pentatriaconta-1(25),3,5,8,10,13,15,18,20,23,26,28,30,32,34-pentadecaene hexane solvate
    The sponge microbiome project
    Moitinho-Silva, Lucas ; Nielsen, Shaun ; Amir, Amnon ; Gonzalez, Antonio ; Ackermann, Gail L. ; Cerrano, Carlo ; Astudillo-Garcia, Carmen ; Easson, Cole ; Sipkema, Detmer ; Liu, Fang ; Steinert, Georg ; Kotoulas, Giorgos ; McCormack, Grace P. ; Feng, Guofang ; Bell, James J. ; Vicente, Jan ; Björk, Johannes R. ; Montoya, Jose M. ; Olson, Julie B. ; Reveillaud, Julie ; Steindler, Laura ; Pineda, Mari Carmen ; Marra, Maria V. ; Ilan, Micha ; Taylor, Michael W. ; Polymenakou, Paraskevi ; Erwin, Patrick M. ; Schupp, Peter J. ; Simister, Rachel L. ; Knight, Rob ; Thacker, Robert W. ; Costa, Rodrigo ; Hill, Russell T. ; Lopez-Legentil, Susanna ; Dailianis, Thanos ; Ravasi, Timothy ; Hentschel, Ute ; Li, Zhiyong ; Webster, Nicole S. ; Thomas, Torsten - \ 2017
    GigaScience 6 (2017)10. - ISSN 2047-217X
    16S rRNA gene - Archaea - Bacteria - Marine sponges - Microbial diversity - Microbiome - Symbiosis
    Marine sponges (phylum Porifera) are a diverse, phylogenetically deep-branching clade known for forming intimate partnerships with complex communities of microorganisms. To date, 16S rRNA gene sequencing studies have largely utilised different extraction and amplification methodologies to target the microbial communities of a limited number of sponge species, severely limiting comparative analyses of sponge microbial diversity and structure. Here, we provide an extensive and standardised dataset that will facilitate sponge microbiome comparisons across large spatial, temporal, and environmental scales. Samples from marine sponges (n = 3569 specimens), seawater (n = 370), marine sediments (n = 65) and other environments (n = 29) were collected from different locations across the globe. This dataset incorporates at least 268 different sponge species, including several yet unidentified taxa. The V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified and sequenced from extracted DNA using standardised procedures. Raw sequences (total of 1.1 billion sequences) were processed and clustered with (i) a standard protocol using QIIME closed-reference picking resulting in 39 543 operational taxonomic units (OTU) at 97% sequence identity, (ii) a de novo clustering using Mothur resulting in 518 246 OTUs, and (iii) a new high-resolution Deblur protocol resulting in 83 908 unique bacterial sequences. Abundance tables, representative sequences, taxonomic classifications, and metadata are provided. This dataset represents a comprehensive resource of sponge-associated microbial communities based on 16S rRNA gene sequences that can be used to address overarching hypotheses regarding host-associated prokaryotes, including host specificity, convergent evolution, environmental drivers of microbiome structure, and the sponge-associated rare biosphere.
    Phylloplane bacteria increase the negative impact of food limitation on insect fitness
    Olson, Grant L. ; Myers, Judith H. ; Hemerik, Lia ; Cory, Jenny S. - \ 2017
    Ecological Entomology 42 (2017)4. - ISSN 0307-6946 - p. 411 - 421.
    Egg quality - Emergent effects - Fecundity - Induced defences - Pseudomonas - Starvation
    1. When populations of herbivorous insects increase in density, they can alter the quantity or quality of their food. The impacts of diet-related stressors on insect fitness have been investigated singly, but not simultaneously. 2. Foliage quantity and quality of red alder, Alnus rubra, were manipulated together with the presence of non-entomopathogenic phylloplane bacteria to investigate their impacts, singly and in combination, on survival, pupal mass, growth rate, fecundity and egg quality of a cyclic forest insect, the western tent caterpillar, Malacosoma californicum pluviale. 3. Food limitation (half food) had strong negative impacts on all life-history traits. When the larvae were fed continuously, however, neither ingesting phylloplane bacteria nor eating leaves from damaged branches (induced foliage) affected survival. In the half-food treatment, ingesting bacteria further increased mortality, while feeding on induced foliage improved survival. 4. Growth rate and pupal mass of both sexes were reduced for larvae with food limitation compared with continuously fed insects and this was exacerbated when the larvae also ate bacteria-treated leaves. A combination of bacteria and induced foliage also reduced larval growth rate by 5% in the full-food treatment. 5. Fecundity (eggs per egg mass) was 2.7times greater in full-food than in food-limited treatments but neither phylloplane bacteria nor plant induction had an effect. Insects fed induced foliage produced smaller eggs. Overall, there was no evidence of a three-way interaction between the three stressors, although there were negative synergistic effects, primarily between food limitation and the ingestion of phylloplane bacteria.
    CCDC 1504990: Experimental Crystal Structure Determination
    Guo, Minjie ; Wang, Xuemei ; Zhan, Caihong ; Demay-Drouhard, Paul ; Li, Wenjiao ; Du, Ke ; Olson, Mark A. ; Zuilhof, H. ; Sue, Andrew C.H. - \ 2016
    Tianjin University
    YETWIG : 4,9,14,19,26-pentamethoxy-24,28,30,32,34-pentakis(prop-2-yn-1-yloxy)hexacyclo[21.2.2.23,6.28,11.213,16.218,21]pentatriaconta-1(25),3,5,8,10,13,15,18,20,23,26,28,30,32,34-pentadecaene hexane solvate
    Consumer response to packaging design: the role of packaging materials and visuals in sustainability perceptions and product judgments
    Steenis, N.D. ; Herpen, E. van; Lans, I.A. van der; Trijp, J.C.M. van - \ 2016
    - p. 87 - 89.
    Introduction This research investigates whether and how different packaging materials and visual designs influence consumers’ perceptions of the packaged product, and how these relate to overall product attitudes. Specific attention is paid to consumer sustainability perceptions, a topic that has garnered increasing managerial and policy-level attention, but that has been left relatively under-represented in marketing research. Previous research on consumer response to packaging has focused chiefly on packaging visuals and verbal elements (labelling) on the packaging (e.g., Celhay & Trinquecoste, 2015; Magnier & Schoormans, 2015), branding effects (e.g., Underwood, 2003; Underwood & Klein, 2002) and holistic design factors (e.g., Orth & Malkewitz, 2008). We aim to contribute to this literature by examining consumer response to packaging materials, which are crucial for the sustainability of a package. Building on theories of cue acquisition and integration (Olson, 1978; Rao & Monroe, 1989; Steenkamp, 1990), we examine the role of packaging design in (i) consumer cue acquisition and perception, (ii) consumer inferences of (expected) packaged product benefits and (iii) overall attitudes towards the packaged product. In this view, we consider the packaging as providing a series of cues which consumers can perceive and interpret to make inferences about the product’s expected benefits, as a basis to inform their overall attitudes towards these products. Empirical study We conducted an empirical study among 249 Dutch students. Stimuli consisted of 14 soup packages constructed from 7 material types (glass jar, bioplastic pot, liquid carton, dry carton and bag, plastic pouch, mixed material pouch consisting of plastic with carton wrapping, can) and two visual schemes (designed to be conventional-looking vs. sustainable-looking). We used an idiosyncratic method of attribute elicitation (based on triadic sorting) that does not impose predefined criteria, but that allows respondents to freely use their own criteria. Specifically, respondents were presented with seven triads of differently packaged soup products and gave short descriptions of their perceptions of these packaged products using their own words. Respondents then profiled each packaged product by indicating the extent to which each of their own descriptions applied to the product, following a “check all that apply” format. Lastly, respondents rated each product on a set of product benefits (i.e., sustainability, convenience, healthiness, naturalness, taste, inexpensive price and quality), obtained from literature, and overall attitude. Based on a content analysis we categorized 3224 elicited descriptions (cue perceptions) into 28 cue perception categories. Notably, we find a high convergence between respondents own descriptions and the benefit dimensions; each benefit was represented by a corresponding category obtained from elicitation. To provide support for this, multilevel regressions were out carried using the 28 elicitation categories as predictors for the benefits. These regressions indeed show high convergence (all p’s <0.0001) between the elicitation categories and benefits that were deemed similar. This supports the contention that consumers use packaging cues to infer about relevant benefits – including both sustainability of product and package. Other relevant spontaneous perceptions that were related to benefit dimensions included in particular transparency, packaging flexibility, modernity (vs. traditional), luxuriousness, product preservability and contents per package. These results are also displayed on a perceptual map based on clustering of dominant score patterns. Visual and material packaging designs significantly contributed to perceived benefits. Visuals most strongly affected perceptions of naturalness (F(1, 248) = 42.511 , p <0.0001, η(_p^2) = 0.146) and sustainability (F(1, 248) = 27.297, p <.0001, η(_p^2) = .099) - even though from an objective point of view the product is not affected. Materials affected most strongly (perceived) packaging sustainability (F(5, 1221) = 38.236, p <.0001, η(_p^2) = .134), but we also find medium-sized effects on overall sustainability, healthiness, naturalness, taste, price and quality. Differences in packaging materials have consequences for perceived environmental impacts, but are also associated with different benefit perceptions beyond sustainability, such as price (F(5, 1305) = 19.053 , p <.0001, η(_p^2) = .071) and can “spill over” towards intrinsic product benefits such as taste (F(5, 1163) = 28.386 , p <.001, η(_p^2) = .103) and healthiness (F(5, 1159) = 25.604 , p <.0001, η(_p^2) = .094). A separate regression showed that all benefit dimensions, in turn, were relevant to consumers’ overall attitude towards the packaged products (p’s <0.05). Discussion Sustainability can be signalled to consumers using both visual and structural aspects of packaging design. Although actual environmental impacts of the packaging likely are a consequence of the packaging’s structural elements, they also affect a wide range of other benefits (e.g., price, convenience), including perceptions of intrinsic product elements (taste, healthiness). Whether more sustainable packaging design is desirable from a managerial perspective will depend to a large extent on product positioning. This is especially relevant for those brands and products that may be harmed in light of more sustainable positioning, (Luchs, Brower, & Chitturi, 2012; Luchs, Walker Naylor, Irwin, & Raghunathan, 2010). We showed how consumers rely on their intuitions when they are confronted with products differing in packaging design to form inferences about product benefits used to assess the product, and that altering packaging sustainability can change how the packaged product is perceived as a whole.
    Allometric trajectories and "stress" : A quantitative approach
    Anfodillo, Tommaso ; Petit, Giai ; Sterck, Frank ; Lechthaler, Silvia ; Olson, Mark E. - \ 2016
    Frontiers in Plant Science 7 (2016). - ISSN 1664-462X - 6 p.
    Fitness - Morphospace - Operationalization - Plasticity - Scaling

    The term "stress" is an important but vague term in plant biology. We show situations in which thinking in terms of "stress" is profitably replaced by quantifying distance from functionally optimal scaling relationships between plant parts. These relationships include, for example, the often-cited one between leaf area and sapwood area, which presumably reflects mutual dependence between sources and sink tissues and which scales positively within individuals and across species. These relationships seem to be so basic to plant functioning that they are favored by selection across nearly all plant lineages.Within a species or population, individuals that are far from the common scaling patterns are thus expected to perform negatively. For instance, "too little" leaf area (e.g., due to herbivory or disease) per unit of active stem mass would be expected to incur to low carbon income per respiratory cost and thus lead to lower growth. We present a framework that allows quantitative study of phenomena traditionally assigned to "stress," without need for recourse to this term. Our approach contrasts with traditional approaches for studying "stress," e.g., revealing that small "stressed" plants likely are in fact well suited to local conditions. We thus offer a quantitative perspective to the study of phenomena often referred to under such terms as "stress," plasticity, adaptation, and acclimation.

    Colonialism, Self-Determination and Independence : The new PKK paradigm
    Jongerden, J.P. - \ 2016
    In: Kurdish Issues / Gunter, Michael, Costa Mesa : Mazda Publishers - ISBN 9781568593104 - p. 106 - 121.
    Global Carbon Budget 2015
    Quéré, C. Le; Moriarty, R. ; Andrew, R.M. ; Canadell, J.G. ; Sitch, S. ; Korsbakken, J.I. ; Friedlingstein, P. ; Peters, G.P. ; Andres, R.J. ; Houghton, R.A. ; House, J.I. ; Keeling, R.F. ; Tans, P.P. ; Arneth, A. ; Bakker, D. ; Barbero, L. ; Bopp, L. ; Chang, J. ; Chevallier, F. ; Chini, L.P. ; Ciais, P. ; Feely, R.A. ; Gkritzalis, T. ; Harris, I. ; Hauck, J. ; Ilyina, T. ; Jain, A.K. ; Kato, E. ; Kitidis, V. ; Klein-Goldewijk, K. ; Koven, C. ; Landschützer, Peter ; Lauvset, S.K. ; Lefèvre, N. ; Metzl, N. ; Millero, F. ; Munro, D.R. ; Murata, A. ; Nabel, Julia E.M.S. ; Nakaoka, S. ; Nojiri, Y. ; O'Brien, Kate ; Olson, A. ; Ono, T. ; Pérez, N. ; Pfeil, B. ; Pierrot, D. ; Poulter, B. ; Rehder, G. ; Rödenbeck, C. ; Saito, S. ; Schuster, U. ; Schwinger, J. ; Séférian, R. ; Steinhoff, T. ; Stocker, B.D. ; Sutton, A.J. ; Takahashi, T. ; Tilbrook, B. ; Laan-Luijkx, I.T. van der; Werf, G.R. van de; Heuven, S. Van; Vandemark, D. ; Viovy, N. ; Wiltshire, A. ; Zaehle, S. ; Zeng, N. - \ 2015
    CDIAC
    Global Carbon Budget 2014
    Quéré, C. Le; Moriarty, R. ; Andrew, R.M. ; Peters, G.P. ; Ciais, P. ; Friedlingstein, P. ; Jones, S.D. ; Sitch, S. ; Tans, P.P. ; Arneth, A. ; Boden, T.A. ; Bopp, L. ; Bozec, Y. ; Canadell, J.G. ; Chevallier, F. ; Cosca, C.E. ; Harris, I. ; Hoppema, Mario ; Houghton, R.A. ; House, J.I. ; Jain, A.K. ; Johannessen, T. ; Kato, E. ; Keeling, R.F. ; Kitidis, V. ; Klein Goldewijk, Kees ; Koven, C. ; Landa, C.S. ; Landschützer, P. ; Lenton, A. ; Lima, I.D. ; Marland, G. ; Mathis, J.T. ; Metzl, N. ; Nojiri, Y. ; Olson, A. ; Ono, T. ; Peters, Wouter ; Pfeil, B. ; Poulter, Benjamin ; Raupach, M.R. ; Regnier, P. ; Rödenbeck, C. ; Saito, S. ; Sailsbury, J.E. ; Schuster, U. ; Schwinger, J. ; Séférian, R. ; Segschneider, J. ; Steinhoff, T. ; Stocker, B.D. ; Sutton, A.J. ; Takahashi, T. ; Tilbrook, B. ; Werf, G.R. van der; Viovy, N. ; Wang, Y.P. ; Wanninkhof, R. ; Wiltshire, A. ; Zeng, N. - \ 2015
    CDIAC
    Semiotics of Silent Lakes. Sigurd Olson and the Interlacing of Writing, Policy and Planning
    Assche, Kristof Van - \ 2015
    Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 17 (2015)2. - ISSN 1523-908X - p. 262 - 276.
    conservation - environmental policy - narrative - planning and design - semiotics - Sigurd Olson

    Through the analysis of the semiotics of place, history and self in the writings of Sigurd Olson (1899–1982), a reflection on his impact on American conservation and a development of his ideas towards a practicable approach to environmental policy, planning and design, we revisit the importance of narrative for these disciplines. Writing enabled Olson to discover meaning in nature and in life, to create an audience that could help in conservation and to develop ideas for environmental policy and planning that can still be relevant. Olson's investigations and his biography offer insights in the enabling and limiting effects of narrative dynamics on attempts to care for the environment.

    Fragmentation of an aflatoxin-like gene cluster in a forest pathogen
    Bradshaw, R.E. ; Slot, J.C. ; Moore, G.G. ; Chettri, P. ; Wit, P.J.G.M. de; Ehrlich, K.C. ; Ganley, A.R.D. ; Olson, M.A. ; Rokas, A. ; Carbone, I. ; Cox, M.P. - \ 2013
    New Phytologist 198 (2013)2. - ISSN 0028-646X - p. 525 - 535.
    aspergillus-parasiticus - dothistroma-septosporum - phylogenetic analyses - biosynthetic-pathway - recombination events - secondary metabolism - functional-analysis - horizontal transfer - filamentous fungi - evolution
    Plant pathogens use a complex arsenal of weapons, such as toxic secondary metabolites, to invade and destroy their hosts. Knowledge of how secondary metabolite pathways evolved is central to understanding the evolution of host specificity. The secondary metabolite dothistromin is structurally similar to aflatoxins and is produced by the fungal pine pathogen Dothistroma septosporum. Our study focused on dothistromin genes, which are widely dispersed across one chromosome, to determine whether this unusual distributed arrangement evolved from an ancestral cluster. We combined comparative genomics and population genetics approaches to elucidate the origins of the dispersed arrangement of dothistromin genes over a broad evolutionary time-scale at the phylum, class and species levels. Orthologs of dothistromin genes were found in two major classes of fungi. Their organization is consistent with clustering of core pathway genes in a common ancestor, but with intermediate cluster fragmentation states in the Dothideomycetes fungi. Recombination hotspots in a D.septosporum population matched sites of gene acquisition and cluster fragmentation at higher evolutionary levels. The results suggest that fragmentation of a larger ancestral cluster gave rise to the arrangement seen in D.septosporum. We propose that cluster fragmentation may facilitate metabolic retooling and subsequent host adaptation of plant pathogens.
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