Planta Med 2019; 85(18): 1541-1542
DOI: 10.1055/s-0039-3400069
Main Congress Poster
Poster Session 2
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

On the trail of fungal defense strategies – Employing a special workflow to spot photoactivity

F Hammerle
1  Institute of Pharmacy / Pharmacognosy and Center for Molecular Biosciences Innsbruck (CMBI), Innrain 80-82, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria;
,
P Vrabl
2  Institute of Microbiology, Technikerstraße 25, Innrain 80-82, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
,
I Bingger
3  Management Center Innsbruck (MCI), Universitätsstraße 15, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
,
H Schöbel
3  Management Center Innsbruck (MCI), Universitätsstraße 15, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
,
U Peintner
2  Institute of Microbiology, Technikerstraße 25, Innrain 80-82, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
,
H Stuppner
1  Institute of Pharmacy / Pharmacognosy and Center for Molecular Biosciences Innsbruck (CMBI), Innrain 80-82, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria;
,
B Siewert
1  Institute of Pharmacy / Pharmacognosy and Center for Molecular Biosciences Innsbruck (CMBI), Innrain 80-82, University of Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria;
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
20 December 2019 (online)

 

Sunlight is not only a key factor for photosynthesis – the process enabling plants to convert solar energy into chemical energy [1] – but can also provide the basis for a winning defense strategy. Some plants, which are generally unable to actively flee from threats, use photons to fend off predators [2]. In detail, light-activated defense is based on the ability of certain pigments/photosensitizers, to produce reactive oxygen species (e.g. 1O2) after being exposed to light of a specific wavelength [3]. This led to the following hypothesis that fungi – another kingdom with “immobile” reproducing structures – might also possess highly photoactive compounds. To test this hypothesis, a previously established workflow [4] was used to rank the PDT-activity of several basidiomycetes.

While fungal extracts with pigments derived from the shikimate-chorismate pathway or the mevalonate pathway exhibited no significant activity, those containing dyes from the acetate-malonate pathway and nitrogen heterocycles were characterized by promising 1O2-producing activities. Nevertheless, the obtained results pointed out that not all photoactive pigments are able to induce a photo-activated cytotoxic effect in vitro.

The hypothesis of a photochemical defense mechanism in the kingdom Fungi was tested. By investigating a set of diverse basidiomycetes, we were able to highlight the fact that pigments derived from the acetate-malonate pathway are promising photosensitizers.