Reconstitution of biosynthetic machinery of fungal natural products in heterologous hosts

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2020 Mar;84(3):433-444. doi: 10.1080/09168451.2019.1690976. Epub 2019 Nov 18.


Ascomycota and basidiomycota fungi are prolific sources of biologically active natural products. Recent genomic data and bioinformatic analysis indicate that fungi possess a large number of biosynthetic gene clusters for bioactive natural products but more than 90% are silent. Heterologous expression in the filamentous fungi as hosts is one of the powerful tools to expression of the silent gene clusters. This review introduces recent studies on the total biosynthesis of representative family members via common platform intermediates, genome mining of novel di- and sesterterpenoids including detailed cyclization pathway, and development of expression host for basidiomycota genes with efficient genome editing method. In addition, this review will discuss the several strategies, for the generation of structural diversity, which are found through these studies.

Keywords: Aspergillus oryzae; Basidiomycota fungi; fungal metabolites; genome mining; heterologous expression.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ascomycota / genetics
  • Ascomycota / metabolism*
  • Basidiomycota / genetics
  • Basidiomycota / metabolism*
  • Biological Products / metabolism*
  • Biosynthetic Pathways / genetics
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Multigene Family


  • Biological Products