BACKGROUND: Subtilisin-like proteases (SLPs) form a superfamily of enzymes that act to degrade protein substrates. In fungi, SLPs can play either a general nutritive role, or may play specific roles in cell metabolism, or as pathogenicity or virulence factors.

RESULTS: Fifteen different genes encoding SLPs were identified in the genome of the grass endophytic fungus Epichloë festucae. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that these SLPs belong to four different subtilisin families: proteinase K, kexin, pyrolysin and subtilisin. The pattern of intron loss and gain is consistent with this phylogeny. E. festucae is exceptional in that it contains two kexin-like genes. Phylogenetic analysis in Hypocreales fungi revealed an extensive history of gene loss and duplication.

CONCLUSION: This study provides new insights into the evolution of the SLP superfamily in filamentous fungi.

Document Type


Publication Date


Notes/Citation Information

Published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, v. 9, 168.

© 2009 Bryant et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


1471-2148-9-168-s1.doc (42 kB)
Additional file 1

1471-2148-9-168-s2.doc (35 kB)
Additional file 2

1471-2148-9-168-s3.doc (59 kB)
Additional file 3

1471-2148-9-168-s4.jpeg (2406 kB)
Additional file 4

1471-2148-9-168-s5.jpeg (823 kB)
Additional file 5

1471-2148-9-168-s6.jpeg (640 kB)
Additional file 6

1471-2148-9-168-s7.jpeg (242 kB)
Additional file 7

1471-2148-9-168-s8.doc (153 kB)
Additional file 8

1471-2148-9-168-s9.doc (61 kB)
Additional file 9