Abstract Isoprenoids represent the largest class of natural products, exhibiting a variety of physiological roles in organisms ranging from bacteria to plants. Mushroom-forming fungi (Basidiomycota) represent a largely diverse, but relatively uncharacterized natural product resource, and are prolific producers of bioactive isoprenoid compounds. In this work, two convergent lines of investigation are pursued involving the discovery and characterization of enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of isoprenoids in Basidiomycota. The first investigation involved the structural characterization of a protoilludene synthase from the wood-rotting fungus, Stereum hirsutum. The second investigation followed the establishment of cultures for eight different Lactarius mushroom species, and their subsequent volatile headspace screening for novel isoprenoid compounds. Furthermore, three Lactarius species were selected for genome sequencing and mining to identify novel sesquiterpene synthases using an established predictive framework. This predictive framework was broadened in scope to include the search for enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of higher molecular-weight isoprenoids, particularly those involved in natural rubber biosynthesis.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. September 2015. Major: Microbial Engineering. Advisor: Claudia Schmidt-Dannert. 1 computer file (PDF); xii, 143 pages.
Pathway Discovery and Characterization for Sesquiterpene and Higher-Molecular Weight Isoprenoids in Basidiomycetes.
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