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Microbiology. 2018 Jan;164(1):65-77. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.000582. Epub 2017 Dec 5.

Dissimilar pigment regulation in Serpula lacrymans and Paxillus involutus during inter-kingdom interactions.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology at the Hans Knöll Institute, Friedrich-Schiller-University, Winzerlaer Str. 2, 07745 Jena, Germany.
Terrestrial Biofilms Group, Institute of Microbiology, Friedrich Schiller University, Neugasse 23, 07743 Jena, Germany.
Bacterial Interactions and Evolution Group, Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark, Anker Engelunds Vej, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark.
Research Group Systems Biology/Bioinformatics, Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology - Hans Knöll Institute, Beutenbergstr. 11a, 07745 Jena, Germany.
Present address: German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.


Production of basidiomycete atromentin-derived pigments like variegatic acid (pulvinic acid-type) and involutin (diarylcyclopentenone) from the brown-rotter Serpula lacrymans and the ectomycorrhiza-forming Paxillus involutus, respectively, is induced by complex nutrition, and in the case of S. lacrymans, bacteria. Pigmentation in S. lacrymans was stimulated by 13 different bacteria and cell-wall-damaging enzymes (lytic enzymes and proteases), but not by lysozyme or mechanical damage. The use of protease inhibitors with Bacillus subtilis or heat-killed bacteria during co-culturing with S. lacrymans significantly reduced pigmentation indicating that enzymatic hyphal damage and/or released peptides, rather than mechanical injury, was the major cause of systemic pigment induction. Conversely, no significant pigmentation by bacteria was observed from P. involutus. We found additional putative transcriptional composite elements of atromentin synthetase genes in P. involutus and other ectomycorrhiza-forming species that were absent from S. lacrymans and other brown-rotters. Variegatic and its precursor xerocomic acid, but not involutin, in return inhibited swarming and colony biofilm spreading of Bacillus subtilis, but did not kill B. subtilis. We suggest that dissimilar pigment regulation by fungal lifestyle was a consequence of pigment bioactivity and additional promoter motifs. The focus on basidiomycete natural product gene induction and regulation will assist in future studies to determine global regulators, signalling pathways and associated transcription factors of basidiomycetes.


basidiomycetes; biofilms; natural products; promoters; transcriptional regulation

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