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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2004 Dec;68(12):2571-80.

Biosynthesis of abscisic acid by the direct pathway via ionylideneethane in a fungus, Cercospora cruenta.

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Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


We examined the biosynthetic pathway of abscisic acid (ABA) after isopentenyl diphosphate in a fungus, Cercospora cruenta. All oxygen atoms at C-1, -1, -1', and -4' of ABA produced by this fungus were labeled with (18)O from (18)O(2). The fungus did not produce the 9Z-carotenoid possessing gamma-ring that is likely a precursor for the carotenoid pathway, but produced new sesquiterpenoids, 2E,4E-gamma-ionylideneethane and 2Z,4E-gamma-ionylideneethane, along with 2E,4E,6E-allofarnesene. The fungus converted these sesquiterpenoids labeled with (13)C to ABA, and the incorporation ratio of 2Z,4E-gamma-ionylideneethane was higher than that of 2E,4E-gamma-ionylideneethane. From these results, we concluded that C. cruenta biosynthesized ABA by the direct pathway via oxidation of ionylideneethane with molecular oxygen following cyclization of allofarnesene. This direct pathway via ionylideneethane in the fungus is consistent with that in Botrytis cinerea, except for the positions of double bonds in the rings of biosynthetic intermediates, suggesting that the pathway is common among ABA-producing fungi.

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