Genetic and metabolic aspects of primary and secondary metabolism of the zygomycetes

Kerstin Voigt, Thomas Wolf, Katrin Ochsenreiter, Gábor Nagy, Kerstin Kaerger, Ekaterina Shelest, Tamás Papp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Basal lineages of the kingdom of fungi comprise terrestrial and aquatic fungi, which are traditionally summarized as Chytridiomycota and Zygomycota in a colloquial sense. The zygomycetes build up the most basal lineage among the terrestrial fungi. As the earliest fungi to conquer terrestrial habitats, they facilitated early coevolution with other land-dwelling microorganisms with implications on the primary and secondary metabolism which is adaptive to the life in soil. Advances in next-generation genome sequencing allow us to gain a new layer of knowledge with respect to their metabolism and its regulation. Recent revisions of the metabolic potential of zygomycetes using genome mining suggested a hidden potential for the production of secondary metabolites. First insights suggest a revision of our understanding of the importance and mode of action of metabolic pathways revealing a fascinating potential to produce novel natural compounds. The aim of this review is to draw attention to the zygomycetes as a unique fungal group and to inspire the scientific community to explore its potential as participants in complex ecosystems for innovative metabolic regulatory frameworks and novel compounds.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiochemistry and Molecular Biology
EditorsDirk Hoffmeister
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-27790-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-27788-2, 978-3-319-80217-6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2016

Publication series

NameThe Mycota


  • fumaric acid
  • carotenoid biosynthesis
  • mucor circinelloides
  • carotenoid biosynthesis gene
  • Rhizopus species


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