Benjamin Knox

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Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a potent mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus and Penicillium species and is a common contaminant of a wide variety of food commodities, with Aspergillus carbonarius being the main producer of OTA contamination in grapes and wine. The molecular structure of OTA comprises a dihydroisocoumarin ring linked to phenylalanine and, as shown in(More)
Nonribosomal peptides (NRPs) are natural products biosynthesized by NRP synthetases. A kusA-, pyrG- mutant strain of Aspergillus terreus NIH 2624 was developed that greatly facilitated the gene targeting efficiency in this organism. Application of this tool allowed us to link four major types of NRP-related secondary metabolites to their responsible genes(More)
Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common filamentous fungal pathogen of immunocompromised hosts, resulting in invasive aspergillosis (IA) and high mortality rates. Innate immunity is known to be the predominant host defense against A. fumigatus; however, innate phagocyte responses to A. fumigatus in an intact host and their contributions to host survival(More)
Species of the fungal genus Trichoderma (Hypocreales, Ascomycota) are well-known for their production of various secondary metabolites. Nonribosomal peptides and polyketides represent a major portion of these products. In a recent phylogenomic investigation of Trichoderma polyketide synthase (PKS)-encoding genes, the pks4 from T. reesei was shown to be an(More)
One mission of the Microbial Observatory Experiments on the International Space Station (ISS) is to examine the traits and diversity of fungal isolates to gain a better understanding of how fungi may adapt to microgravity environments and how this may affect interactions with humans in a closed habitat. Here, we report an initial characterization of two(More)
Meroterpenoids are natural products produced from polyketide and terpenoid precursors. A gene targeting system for A. terreus NIH2624 was developed, and a gene cluster for terretonin biosynthesis was characterized. The intermediates and shunt products were isolated from the mutant strains, and a pathway for terretonin biosynthesis is proposed. Analysis of(More)
The Fenton-chemistry-generating properties of copper ions are considered a potent phagolysosome defense against pathogenic microbes, yet our understanding of underlying host/microbe dynamics remains unclear. We address this issue in invasive aspergillosis and demonstrate that host and fungal responses inextricably connect copper and reactive oxygen(More)
The study of aflatoxin in Aspergillus spp. has garnered the attention of many researchers due to aflatoxin's carcinogenic properties and frequency as a food and feed contaminant. Significant progress has been made by utilizing the model organism Aspergillus nidulans to characterize the regulation of sterigmatocystin (ST), the penultimate precursor of(More)