The ergot alkaloids are a family of secondary metabolites produced by a phylogenetically discontinuous group of fungi. Various members of the family are important in agriculture, where they accumulate in grain crops or forage grasses and adversely affect humans or animals who consume them. Other ergot alkaloids have been used clinically to treat a variety of diseases. Because of their significance in agriculture and medicine, the ability to detect and quantify these alkaloids from a variety of substrates is important. The primary analytical approach for these purposes has been high performance liquid chromatography. The ability to manipulate ergot alkaloid production in fungi, by transformation-mediated approaches, has been useful for studies on the biosynthesis of these alkaloids and may have practical application in agriculture and medicine. Such modifications have been informed by comparative genomic approaches, which have provided information on the gene clusters associated with ergot alkaloid biosynthesis.
|Title of host publication||Methods in Enzymology|
|Number of pages||24|
|State||Published - 2012|
|Name||Methods in Enzymology|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (2008-35318-04549 and 2012-67013-19384). This chapter is published with permission of the West Virginia Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station as scientific article number 3125.
- Ergot alkaloids
- Gene clusters
- Secondary metabolism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology