The extract of Eupenicillium javanicum IFM 58214 showed the antifungal activity against Aspergillus fumigatus. The active principle from E. javanicum IFM 58214 was determined to be 2-(2-carboxyethyl)-3-decylmaleic anhydride (1), by chemical and spectroscopic method. The methyl ester (2) of 1 was identified with the semi-synthetic one derived from spiculisporic acid. Semi-synthetically prepared 1 inhibited the growth of A. fumigatus, while other related compounds showed only marginal or no activity. To our knowledge, compound (1) is the first example of identification from natural sources.
Aspergillus niger is one of the most important fungi for industrial production of organic compounds. Recently, it has been reported that A. niger produces a typical Fusarium mycotoxin, fumonisin B2. However, currently there has been no report on the production of fumonisin B2 by A. niger of Japanese origin. In this study, we analyzed the production of fumonisin B2 with seven domestic A. niger strains. These strains were cultivated on agar media, harvested, and analyzed for fumonisins using the AOAC995.15 method with some modifications. One strain was found to produce fumonisin B2 in a media-dependent manner.
Filamentous ascomycetes form multicellular hyphal networks that are compartmentalized by septa. The septum has a pore allowing the flow of cytoplasm and organelles between the adjacent cells. This intercellular communication is a common system in multicellular organisms as seen in gap junctions of animal cells and plasmodesmata of plant cells. In the industrial filamentous fungus Aspergillus oryzae, we found that hyphal tips burst out the cytoplasmic constituents soon after flooding colonies grown on agar media with water (hypotonic shock). Woronin body, an organelle specifically found in filamentous ascomycetes, is known to plug the septal pore adjacent to the lysed cell to prevent the excessive cytoplasmic leakage. Analysis with A. oryzae Aohex1 gene encoding a major Woronin body protein revealed that Woronin bodies plug the septal pores adjacent to the burst apical cells upon hypotonic shock. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Woronin bodies differentiate from peroxisomes by employing the peroxisomal proliferation/division machinery. Recently, we found that AoSO protein accumulates at the septal pore under various stress conditions (low/high temperature, extreme acidic/alkaline pH, nitrogen/carbon starvation, pulse laser treatment). This gives a possibility that intercellular communication via the septal pore is controlled in response to environmental stresses.