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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2001 Oct;80(1):93-9.

Bioprospecting for novel oxylipins in fungi: the presence of 3-hydroxy oxylipins in Pilobolus.

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UNESCO MIRCEN: Industrial Biotechnology, Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry, University of the Orange Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa.


As previously found in various members of the Mucorales, 3-hydroxy oxylipins in Mucor genevensis are associated with the sporangia, i.e. mainly the columella structure and between aggregating sporangiospores. To determine if this phenomenon is also true in distantly related members, the mucoralean fungus Pilobolus was examined. This fungus is characterized by relatively large sub sporangial-columella structures which actively eject sporangia in a sticky liquid for attachment onto herbage surrounding its growth medium--in this case horse dung. Strikingly, this fungus produced a novel oxylipin i.e. a 3-hydroxy monounsaturated fatty acid, possibly a nonenoic acid, which is mainly associated with the sub sporangial-columella structure and aggregating sporangiospores. The specificity of the antibody against 3-hydroxy oxylipins used in immunofluorescence mapping of the mucoralean fungi, was further confirmed in the yeast, Saccharomycopsis malanga which produces 3-hydroxy palmitate in crystal form. These crystals occur between aggregating yeast cells. On the basis of the available data, we hypothesize that 3-hydroxy oxylipins probably function as adhesives, attaching fungal cells to each other or to other surfaces through entropic based hydrophobic forces and/or hydrogen bonds.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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