Biochemical Interactions of Some Saproxylic Fungi

Sammanfattning: Interactions are all around us, and as humans we may use words and gestures to communicate our intentions. At the micro level of fungi, communications are replaced by chemical signals and structure. These interactions fall into three distinctive categories: synergistic, where organisms help each other, as is the case with ectomycorrhizal fungi and tree roots, deadlock, or combat, where organisms fight for or defend a resource. When it comes to fungi-tree interactions, the fungi group of basidiomycetes fall into the latter category. At the onset of fungal infection, a living tree defends itself by producing resinous substances such as terpenes. These compounds are frequently found in hydrodistilled turpentine, which makes turpentine a prime source of antifungal compounds. A D-optimal design of fractionated turpentine together with gas chromatography (GC) coupled to a mass spectrometer was employed to find the most biologically active constituent of turpentine. Growth rate of Coniophora puteana was used to assess the efficacy of the mixed fractions. The partial least squares projection model had an excellent predictive power (R2 = 0.988, Q2 = 0.825) and validity. A putative sesquiterpene was identified as the most active compound for inhibiting fungal growth. The model was corroborated by an external validation assay employing preparative GC. After the death of a tree, fungi are no longer hindered by secondary metabolites from the tree. Instead, other interspecies interactions and intraspecies interactions, such as fungi-fungi interactions, occur. We found that when the white-rot fungus Heterobasidion parviporum and brown-rot fungus Gloeophyllum sepiarium interact with each other, amino acids are used to a higher extent. Amino acids may be used to produce antifungal compounds to hinder the other species from growing. Lysine in particular was utilized to a greater extent during interaction. Glutamine was the only amino acid that increased in concentration. Glutamine might be exuded or converted by enzymes from already existing glutamic acid. Dry weights suggest that the fungi were in a deadlock and that nutrient limitation might be a determining factor. It seemed that H. parviporum was favoured by a decrease in pH while the opposite pattern may be true for G. sepiarium.

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