Current status of secondary metabolite pathways linked to their related biosynthetic gene clusters in Aspergillus section Nigri
Covering: up to the end of 2021
Aspergilli are biosynthetically ‘talented’ micro-organisms and therefore the natural products community has continually been interested in the wealth of biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) encoding numerous secondary metabolites related to these fungi. With the rapid increase in sequenced fungal genomes combined with the continuous development of bioinformatics tools such as antiSMASH, linking new structures to unknown BGCs has become much easier when taking retro-biosynthetic considerations into account. On the other hand, in most cases it is not as straightforward to prove proposed biosynthetic pathways due to the lack of implemented genetic tools in a given fungal species. As a result, very few secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways have been characterized even amongst some of the most well studied Aspergillus spp., section Nigri (black aspergilli). This review will cover all known biosynthetic compound families and their structural diversity known from black aspergilli. We have logically divided this into sub-sections describing major biosynthetic classes (polyketides, non-ribosomal peptides, terpenoids, meroterpenoids and hybrid biosynthesis). Importantly, we will focus the review on metabolites which have been firmly linked to their corresponding BGCs.