Genes, Vol. 9, Pages 164: Distinct Roles of Velvet Complex in the Development, Stress Tolerance, and Secondary Metabolism in Pestalotiopsis microspora, a Taxol Producer Genes doi: 10.3390/genes9030164 Authors: Oren Akhberdi Qian Zhang Dan Wang Haichuan Wang Xiaoran Hao Yanjie Liu Dongsheng Wei Xudong Zhu The velvet family proteins have been shown to play critical roles in fungal secondary metabolism and development. However, variations of the roles have been observed in different fungi. We report here the observation on the role of three velvet complex components VeA, VelB, and LaeA in Pestalotiopsis microspora, a formerly reported taxol-producing fungus. Deletion of individual members led to the retardation of vegetative growth and sporulation and pigmentation, suggesting critical roles in these processes. The mutant strain △velB appeared hypersensitive to osmotic stress and the dye Congo red, whereas △veA and △laeA were little affected by the pressures, suggesting only velB was required for the integrity of the cell wall. Importantly, we found that the genes played distinct roles in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in P. microspora. For instance, the production of pestalotiollide B, a previously characterized polyketide, required velB and laeA. In contrast, the veA gene appeared to inhibit the pestalotiollide B (PB) role in its biosynthesis. This study suggests that the three components of the velvet complex are important global regulators, but with distinct roles in hyphal growth, asexual production, and secondary metabolism in P. microspora. This work provides information for further understanding the biosynthesis of secondary metabolism in the fungus.