Several secondary metabolite gene clusters in the genomes of ten Penicillium spp. raise the risk of multiple mycotoxin occurrence in chestnuts

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Food Microbiol. 2024 Sep;122:104532. doi: 10.1016/j.fm.2024.104532. Epub 2024 Apr 4.

ABSTRACT

Penicillium spp. produce a great variety of secondary metabolites, including several mycotoxins, on food substrates. Chestnuts represent a favorable substrate for Penicillium spp. development. In this study, the genomes of ten Penicillium species, virulent on chestnuts, were sequenced and annotated: P. bialowiezense. P. pancosmium, P. manginii, P. discolor, P. crustosum, P. palitans, P. viridicatum, P. glandicola, P. taurinense and P. terrarumae. Assembly size ranges from 27.5 to 36.8 Mb and the number of encoded genes ranges from 9,867 to 12,520. The total number of predicted biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) in the ten species is 551. The most represented families of BGCs are non ribosomal peptide synthase (191) and polyketide synthase (175), followed by terpene synthases (87). Genome-wide collections of gene phylogenies (phylomes) were reconstructed for each of the newly sequenced Penicillium species allowing for the prediction of orthologous relationships among our species, as well as other 20 annotated Penicillium species available in the public domain. We investigated in silico the presence of BGCs for 10 secondary metabolites, including 5 mycotoxins, whose production was validated in vivo through chemical analyses. Among the clusters present in this set of species we found andrastin A and its related cluster atlantinone A, mycophenolic acid, patulin, penitrem A and the cluster responsible for the synthesis of roquefortine C/glandicoline A/glandicoline B/meleagrin. We confirmed the presence of these clusters in several of the Penicillium species conforming our dataset and verified their capacity to synthesize them in a chestnut-based medium with chemical analysis. Interestingly, we identified mycotoxin clusters in some species for the first time, such as the andrastin A cluster in P. flavigenum and P. taurinense, and the roquefortine C cluster in P. nalgiovense and P. taurinense. Chestnuts proved to be an optimal substrate for species of Penicillium with different mycotoxigenic potential, opening the door to risks related to the occurrence of multiple mycotoxins in the same food matrix.

PMID:38839238 | DOI:10.1016/j.fm.2024.104532