Genes and evolutionary fates of the amanitin biosynthesis pathway in poisonous mushrooms

Hong Luo, Heather E. Hallen-Adams, Yunjiao Lüli, R. Michael Sgambelluri, Xuan Li, Miranda Smith, Zhu L. Yang, Francis M. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

SignificanceWhy do unrelated poisonous mushrooms (Amanita, Galerina, and Lepiota) make the same deadly toxin, α-amanitin? One of the most effective and fast strategies for organisms to acquire new abilities is through horizontal gene transfer (HGT). With the help of genome sequencing and the finding of two genes for the amanitin biosynthetic pathway, we demonstrate that the pathway distribution resulted from HGT probably through an unknown ancestral fungal donor. In Amanita mushrooms, the pathway evolved, through a series of gene manipulations, to produce very high levels of toxins, generating "the deadliest mushroom known to mankind."

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e2201113119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume119
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - May 17 2022

Keywords

  • Amanita
  • Galerina
  • Lepiota
  • gene cluster
  • genome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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