ADVERTISEMENT
2 /3 FREE ARTICLES LEFT THIS MONTH Remaining
Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.

If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.

ENJOY UNLIMITED ACCES TO C&EN

Biological Chemistry

How Bacteria Make Mushrooms Rot To A Pulp

Microbes’ chemical weapon could inspire treatments for fungal infections in humans

by Carmen Drahl
November 27, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 48

[+]Enlarge
Credit: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.
Button mushroom before (top) and 72 hours after infection.
09048-scicon-mushroomscxd.jpg
Credit: Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.
Button mushroom before (top) and 72 hours after infection.

By pairing genome mining with imaging mass spectrometry, chemists have uncovered a molecular player in a disease that makes button mushrooms rot into a stinking slime (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., DOI: 10.1002/anie.201206658). Soft rot is caused by the microbe Janthinobacterium agaricidamnosum, but its chemical mediators were unknown. Christian Hertweck of Germany’s Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research & Infection Biology and colleagues mined the microbe’s genome for mushroom-killing potential. They found a promising cluster of genes, but it was inactive in lab-cultured bacteria. They eventually found a chemical culprit by analyzing mass spectrometry profiles of mushroom slices. The molecule, which they call jagaricin, is a cyclic lipopeptide. Applying jagaricin to mushrooms produces lesions similar to those in soft rot, although the researchers note that jagaricin isn’t necessarily acting alone. Because mushrooms are fungi, the team also checked whether jagaricin might be useful against fungi that infect people. In petri dishes, it killed the fungus behind yeast infections, among others.

X

Article:

This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Leave A Comment

*Required to comment