Secondary metabolites are a heterogeneous group of natural compounds that are considered to aid the producing organism in survival and basic functions. Trichoderma spp. are known to produce over 200 secondary metabolites, of which many have been found to have biological activity on plants, microbes and substrates. Among these metabolites, polyketides have important biological activities useful both for the survival of Trichoderma and its interactions with the environment. They are built by polyketide synthases enzymes (PKSs), a biochemical machinery capable of producing a variety of compounds belonging to structurally diverse groups of natural products. The synthesis of these genes and their expression in other organisms allow to study the genomic origin of target compounds, generation of novel analogs, and a basic understanding of the PK mechanisms of action. By analyzing the symbiotic association between soil fungi and feedstock plants for bioenergy production, in this case, through Brachypodium–Trichoderma spp. interaction, researchers could learn more about the effects of biocontrol agents on agricultural important monocotyledons species.
Proposer’s Name: Matteo Lorito, University of Naples (Italy)