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Title: BIOCHEMISTRY AND GENETICS OF FUNGAL MELANIN BIOSYNTHESIS

Author
item Wheeler, Michael - Mike
item TSAI, H

Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2004
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Citation: Wheeler, M.H., Tsai, H.F. 2004. Biochemistry and genetics of fungal melanin biosynthesis [abstract]. Phytopathology. 94:S132.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The importance of melanins for survival and longevity of fungi and their role as virulence factors in certain fungal diseases of plants and animals are now recognized. However, important research contributions continue to be made in these areas. The biosynthetic pathways for different fungal melanins have been described, but the one best characterized is the 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin pathway that occurs in a large number of imperfect and ascomycetous fungi. This presentation is a discussion of past and present research involving several different types of melanin and melanin pathways. It emphasizes the DHN pathway that synthesizes brown to black melanins and compares the enzymes and precursors of this pathway with those that synthesize the green and bluish conidial pigments in Aspergillus nidulans and A. fumigatus, respectively. Chemical and genetic techniques that have been used in studying melanin pathways and their enzymes are summarized and evaluated, and the synthesis of phytotoxins and other polyketide metabolites from precursors in the DHN pathway is described. Finally, concerns and needed research in the area of fungal melanins are discussed.