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Combined comparative genomics and molecular biology approaches provide insights into the terpene synthases inventory in Trichoderma
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  • Isabel Vicente,
  • Riccardo Baroncelli,
  • María Eugenia Morán Diez,
  • Rodolfo Bernardi,
  • Grazia Puntoni,
  • Rosa Hermosa,
  • Enrique Monte,
  • Giovanni Vannacci,
  • Sabrina Sarrocco
Isabel Vicente
University of Pisa
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Riccardo Baroncelli
Universidad de Salamanca
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María Eugenia Morán Diez
University of Salamanca
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Rodolfo Bernardi
University of Pisa
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Grazia Puntoni
University of Pisa
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Rosa Hermosa
University of Salamanca
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Enrique Monte
University of Salamanca
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Giovanni Vannacci
University of Pisa
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Sabrina Sarrocco
University of Pisa
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Abstract

Trichoderma is a fungal genus comprising species used as biocontrol agents in crop plant protection and with high value for industry. The beneficial effects of these species are supported by the secondary metabolites they produced. Terpenoid compounds are key players in the interaction of Trichoderma spp. with the environment and with their fungal and plant hosts, however most of the terpene synthase (TS) genes involved in their biosynthesis have yet not been characterized. Here, we combined comparative genomics of TSs of 21 strains belonging to 17 Trichoderma spp., and gene expression studies on TSs using T. gamsii T6085 as a model. An overview of the diversity within the TS-gene family and the regulation of TS genes is provided. We identified 15 groups of TSs, and the presence of clade-specific enzymes revealed a variety of terpenoid chemotypes evolved to cover different ecological demands. We propose that functional differentiation of gene family members is the driver for the high number of TS genes found in the genomes of Trichoderma. Expression studies provide a picture in which different TS genes are regulated in many ways, a strong indication of different biological functions.

Peer review status:UNDER REVIEW

31 Jul 2020Submitted to Molecular Ecology
03 Aug 2020Assigned to Editor
03 Aug 2020Submission Checks Completed
11 Aug 2020Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending