The production of myco-diesel hydrocarbons and their derivatives by the endophytic fungus Gliocladium roseum (NRRL 50072)
Strobel, Gary A.
Knighton, W. Berk
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An endophytic fungus, Gliocladiun roseum (NRRL 50072), produced a series of volatile hydrocarbons and hydrocarbon derivatives on an oatmeal-based agar under microaerophilic conditions as analysed by solid-phase micro-extraction (SPME)-GC/MS. As an example, this organism produced an extensive series of the acetic acid esters of straight-chained alkanes including those of pentyl, hexyl, heptyl, octyl, sec-octyl and decyl alcohols. Other hydrocarbons were also produced by this organism, including undecane, 2,6-dimethyl; decane, 3,3,5-trimethyl; cyclohexene, 4-methyl; decane, 3,3,6-trimethyl; and undecane, 4,4-dimethyl. Volatile hydrocarbons were also produced on a cellulose-based medium, including heptane, octane, benzene, and some branched hydrocarbons. An extract of the host plant, Eucryphia cordifolia (ulmo), supported the growth and hydrocarbon production of this fungus. Quantification of volatile organic compounds, as measured by proton transfer mass spectrometry (PTR-MS), indicated a level of organic substances in the order of 80 p.p.m.v. (parts per million by volume) in the air space above the oatmeal agar medium in an 18 day old culture. Scaling the PTR-MS profile the acetic acid heptyl ester was quantified (at 500 p.p.b.v.) and subsequently the amount of each compound in the GC/MS profile could be estimated; all yielded a total value of about 4.0 p.p.m.v. The hydrocarbon profile of G. roseum contains a number of compounds normally associated with diesel fuel and so the volatiles of this fungus have been dubbed ‘myco-diesel’. Extraction of liquid cultures of the fungus revealed the presence of numerous fatty acids and other lipids. All of these findings have implications in energy production and utilization.
Strobel, G.A., Knighton, B., Kluck, K., Ren, Y., Livinghouse, T., Griffin, M., Spakowicz, D. and Joe Sears, J. 2010. The production of myco-diesel hydrocarbons and their derivatives by the endophytic fungus Gliocladium roseum (NRRL 50072). Microbiology 156: 3830-3833. (corrigendum).