Characterization of oxylipins and dioxygenase genes in the asexual fungus Aspergillus nigerReport as inadecuate

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BMC Microbiology

, 9:59

First Online: 23 March 2009Received: 17 September 2008Accepted: 23 March 2009


BackgroundAspergillus niger is an ascomycetous fungus that is known to reproduce through asexual spores, only. Interestingly, recent genome analysis of A. niger has revealed the presence of a full complement of functional genes related to sexual reproduction 1. An example of such genes are the dioxygenase genes which in Aspergillus nidulans, have been shown to be connected to oxylipin production and regulation of both sexual and asexual sporulation 2, 3, 4. Nevertheless, the presence of sex related genes alone does not confirm sexual sporulation in A. niger.

ResultsThe current study shows experimentally that A. niger produces the oxylipins 8,11-dihydroxy octadecadienoic acid 8,11-diHOD, 5,8-dihydroxy octadecadienoic acid 5,8-diHOD, lactonized 5,8-diHOD, 8-hydroxy octadecadienoic acid 8-HOD, 10-hydroxy octadecadienoic acid 10-HOD, small amounts of 8-hydroxy octadecamonoenoic acid 8-HOM, 9-hydroxy octadecadienoic acid 9-HOD and 13-hydroxy octadecadienoic acid 13-HOD. Importantly, this study shows that the A. niger genome contains three putative dioxygenase genes, ppoA, ppoC and ppoD. Expression analysis confirmed that all three genes are indeed expressed under the conditions tested.

ConclusionA. niger produces the same oxylipins and has similar dioxygenase genes as A. nidulans. Their presence could point towards the existence of sexual reproduction in A. niger or a broader role for the gene products in physiology, than just sexual development.

Abbreviations170: margaric acid, heptadecanoic acid

182: linoleic acid, 9Z,12Z-octadecadienoic acid

204: arachidonic acid, 5Z,8Z,11Z,14Z-eicosatetraenoic acid

8-HOD8-hydroxy octadecadienoic acid

8-HOM8-hydroxy octadecamonoenoic acid

9-HOD9-hydroxy octadecadienoic acid

13-HOD13-hydroxy octadecadienoic acid

10-HOD10-hydroxy octadecadienoic acid

811-diHOD: 8,11-dihydroxy octadecadienoic acid

58-diHOD: 5,8-dihydroxy octadecadienoic acid

PGSprostaglandin synthase

LDSlinoleate diol synthase

SPEsolid phase extraction


Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2180-9-59 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Mayken W Wadman - Ronald P de Vries - Stefanie IC Kalkhove - Gerrit A Veldink - Johannes FG Vliegenthart


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