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Front line defenders of the ecological niche! Screening the structural diversity of peptaibiotics from saprotrophic and fungicolous Trichoderma/Hypocrea species

: Röhrich, C.R.; Jaklitsch, W.M.; Voglmayr, H.; Iversen, A.; Vilcinskas, A.; Nielsen, K.F.; Thrane, U.; Döhren, H. von; Bruckner, H.; Degenkolb, T.


Fungal Diversity 69 (2014), No.1, pp.117-146
ISSN: 1560-2745
ISSN: 1878-9129
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IME ()

Approximately 950 individual sequences of non-ribosomally biosynthesised peptides are produced by the genus Trichoderma/Hypocrea that belong to a perpetually growing class of mostly linear antibiotic oligopeptides, which are rich in the non-proteinogenic alpha-aminoisobutyric acid (Aib). Thus, they are comprehensively named peptaibiotics. Notably, peptaibiotics represent ca. 80 % of the total inventory of secondary metabolites currently known from Trichoderma/Hypocrea. Their unique membrane-modifying bioactivity results from amphipathicity and helicity, thus making them ideal candidates in assisting both colonisation and defence of the natural habitats by their fungal producers. Despite this, reports on the in vivo-detection of peptaibiotics have scarcely been published in the past. In order to evaluate the significance of peptaibiotic production for a broader range of potential producers, we screened nine specimens belonging to seven hitherto uninvestigated fungicolous or saprotrophic Trichoderma/Hypocrea species by liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray high resolution mass spectrometry. Sequences of peptaibiotics found were independently confirmed by analysing the peptaibiome of pure agar cultures obtained by single-ascospore isolation from the specimens. Of the nine species examined, five were screened positive for peptaibiotics. A total of 78 peptaibiotics were sequenced, 56 (= 72 %) of which are new. Notably, dihydroxyphenylalaninol and O-prenylated tyrosinol, two C-terminal residues, which have not been reported for peptaibiotics before, were found as well as new and recurrent sequences carrying the recently described tyrosinol residue at their C-terminus. The majority of peptaibiotics sequenced are 18- or 19-residue peptaibols. Structural homologies with 'classical representatives' of subfamily 1 (SF1)-peptaibiotics argue for the formation of transmembrane ion channels, which are prone to facilitate the producer capture and defence of its substratum.