Applied microbiology and biotechnology

Biosynthesis and genomic analysis of medium-chain hydrocarbon production by the endophytic fungal isolate Nigrograna mackinnonii E5202H.

PMID 25672844


An endophytic fungus was isolated that produces a series of volatile natural products, including terpenes and odd chain polyenes. Phylogenetic analysis of the isolate using five loci suggests that it is closely related to Nigrograna mackinnonii CBS 674.75. The main component of the polyene series was purified and identified as (3E,5E,7E)-nona-1,3,5,7-tetraene (NTE), a novel natural product. Non-oxygenated hydrocarbons of this chain length are uncommon and desirable as gasoline-surrogate biofuels. The biosynthetic pathway for NTE production was explored using metabolic labeling and gas chromatography time of flight mass spectometer (GCMS). Two-carbon incorporation (13)C acetate suggests that it is derived from a polyketide synthase (PKS) followed by decarboxylation. There are several known mechanisms for such decarboxylation, though none have been discovered in fungi. Towards identifying the PKS responsible for the production of NTE, the genome of N. mackinnonii E5202H (ATCC SD-6839) was sequenced and assembled. Of the 32 PKSs present in the genome, 17 are predicted to contain sufficient domains for the production of NTE. These results exemplify the capacity of endophytic fungi to produce novel natural products that may have many uses, such as biologically derived fuels and commodity chemicals.

Related Materials