Submitted to: Phytochemical Society of North America Meeting and Newsletter
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 12, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Trichothecenes are sesquiterpenoid epoxide metabolites produced by several genera of fungi including Fusarium, as well as the plant genus Baccharis. These toxins are potent inhibitors of protein synthesis and can affect the severity of Fusarium caused plant diseases such as wheat head scab. The biosynthetic pathways of Fusarium trichothecenes have some initial shared steps beginning with the alicyclic hydrocarbon trichodiene, which is the cyclization product of farnesyl pyrophosphate. The end products of the trichothecene pathway in F. sporotrichioides are T-2 toxin and diacetoxyscirpenol while F. graminearum produces 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol and deoxynivalenol. Deoxynivalenol differs from T-2 toxin in oxygenations or substitutions at three positions. Feeding studies with genetically blocked mutants of F. graminearum has allowed us to identify both the shared steps in the T-2 toxin and deoxynivalenol pathways and the likely branch point leading to deoxynivalenol formation.