Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Fungi produce and accumulate various carotenoids. Mycelia of the ZygomyceteBlakeslea trispora contained β-carotene and its precursors γ-carotene and lycopene. When strains of opposite sex grew together, the β-carotene concentration increased fourfold, that of γ-carotene remained unchanged, and other intermediates practically disappeared. The inhibitors nicotine, 2-(4-chlorophenylthio)-triethylamine, α-picoline, and imidazole increased the concentrations of lycopene and γ-carotene and decreased those of β-carotene. From our quantitative results, we conclude thatBlakeslea has two pathways for lycopene metabolism, of which other fungi have only one or the other. The main one, two cyclizations from lycopene to β-carotene, is carried out by an enzyme dimer, is stimulated by sexual interaction, and is sensitive to the inhibitors. The other pathway, a cyclization to γ-carotene is not affected by mating or the inhibitors.
Type of Medium: