So far, it has been still unknown how liamocins are biosynthesized, regulated, transported and secreted. In this study, a highly reducing polyketide synthase (HR-PKS), a mannitol- 1-phosphate dehydrogenase (MPDH), a mannitol dehydrogenase (MtDH), an arabitol dehydrogenase (ArDH) and an esterase (Est1) were found to be closely related to core biosynthesis of extracellular liamocins in Aureobasidium melanogenum 6-1-2. The HR-PKS was responsible for biosynthesis of 3,5-dihydroxydecanoic acid. The MPDH and MtDH were implicated in mannitol biosynthesis and the ArDH was involved in arabitol biosynthesis. The Est1 catalyzed ester bond formation of them. A phosphopantetheine transferase (PPTase) activated the HR-PKS and a transcriptional activator Ga11 activated expression of the PKS1 gene. Therefore, deletion of the PKS1 gene, all the three genes encoding MPDH, MtDH and ArDH, the EST1, the gene responsible for PPTase and the gene for Ga11 made all the disruptants (Dpks13, Dpta13, Dest1, Dp12 and Dg11) totally lose the ability to produce any liamocins. A GLTP gene encoding a glycolipid transporter and a MDR1 gene encoding an ABC transporter took part in transport and secretion of the produced liamocins into medium. Removal of the GLTP gene and the MDR1 gene resulted in a Dgltp1 mutant and a Dmdr16 mutant, respectively, that lost the partial ability to secrete liamocins, but which cells were swollen and intracellular lipid accumulation was greatly enhanced. Hydrolysis of liamocins released 3,5-dihydroxydecanoic acid, mannitol, arabitol and acetic acid. We proposed a core biosynthesis pathway, regulation, transport and secretion of liamocins in A. melanogenum.

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