Dr. Katherine Williams
Discovery and Exploitation of Nonadride Biosynthetic Genes in Fungi
Cornexistin is a potent herbicide produced in low titre by the fungus Paecilomyces variotii. Cornexistin has an interesting nonadride structure that is too complex for synthesising economically; therefore the genetics behind the biosynthesis of cornexistin are being investigated with an aim to manipulate the pathway. The genome of P. variotii has been sequenced and analysed for potential gene clusters related to the cornexistin pathway. A number of techniques, such as heterologous expression and overexpression of pathway regulators, will be utilised to improve titre and biosynthesise precursors and analogues for structure activity relationship testing.