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Picture: R. G. Berger
Meripilus giganteus, the (inedible) giant polypore, on the roots of an old Fagus tree, Prince´s Garden Hannover, Lower Saxony.
Pictures: R. G. Berger


The rare, but wide-spread occurring fruiting bodies of Geastrum triplex (= Geastrum indicum, collared earthstar, “fallen stars”; location Lower Saxony) show a morphological peculiarity, a large spherical spore sac which is exposed as the fungus matures. Spores are released through a pore on top. Earthstars were used in the traditional medicines of native North America and China, but are too tough to serve as a food.



Fossilized remains of fungal mycelia identified with spectrometric and microscopic high-end methods in 715 to 810 million year old rock formations via the detection of chitin and cell nuclei:




Negative ion tandem mass spectrometry of prenylated fungal metabolites and their derivatives

Heinke, Ramona; Arnold, Norbert; Wessjohann, Ludger; Schmidt, Juergen, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (2013), 405, 177-189.

Liquid chromatography negative ion electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry has been used for characterization of naturally occurring prenylated fungal metabolites and synthetic derivatives. It could be shown, that the prenyl side chain is degraded by successive radical losses of C5 units. Furthermore, the different types of basic skeletons, benzoquinones and phenol type as well as cyclic prenylated compounds, can be differentiated by their MS/MS behavior.


Biogeography in the air: fungal diversity over land and oceans

Froehlich-Nowoisky, J.; Burrows, S. M.; Xie, Z.; Engling, G.; Solomon, P. A.; Fraser, M. P.; Mayol-Bracero, O. L.; Artaxo, P.; Begerow, D.; et al. Biogeosciences (2012), 9, 1125-1136.

Biogenic aerosols are relevant for the Earth system, climate, and public health on local, regional, and global scales. The authors present the first DNA-based analysis of airborne fungi on global scales, showing pronounced geographical patterns and boundaries.


Expression of soluble recombinant lipoxygenase from Pleurotus sapidus in Pichia pastoris

Kelle, Sebastian; Zelena, Katerina; Krings, Ulrich; Linke, Diana; Berger, Ralf G., Protein Expression and Purification (2014), 95, 233-239.

The first heterologous expression of an iron-containing lipoxygenase from a basidiomycete in Pichia pastoris is reported. The recombinant enzyme showed an optimal lipoxygenase activity at pH 7 and 30-35 °C and a vmax like the wild-type enzyme.


Detection of fungal biomass during solid state fermentation by flow cytometry

Frömmel, Susanne; Böhmer, Ulrike; Bley, Thomas, BIOspektrum (2012), 18, 673-675.

Solid state fermentation is a robust process perfectly suitable for the on-site cultivation of white-rot fungi, where fungi serve as enzyme producers for the treatment of lignocellulosics. The detection of fungal biomass is simplified and accelerated by means of a new process based on flow cytometry.


Bioremediation and heavy metal uptake: microbial approaches at field scale

Schindler, Frank; Gube, Matthias; Kothe, Erika, Soil Biology (2012), 31(Bio-Geo Interactions in Metal-Contaminated Soils), 365-383.


Assembly of Melleolide Antibiotics Involves a Polyketide Synthase with Cross-Coupling Activity

Lackner, Gerald; Bohnert, Markus; Wick, Jonas; Hoffmeister, Dirk, Chemistry & Biology (Oxford) (2013), 20, 1101-1106.

We investigated the iterative type I polyketide synthase (PKS) ArmB of the tree pathogen Armillaria mellea, a producer of cytotoxic melleolides (i.e., polyketides esterified with various sesquiterpene alcs.). Heterologously produced ArmB showed orsellinic acid (OA) synthase activity in vitro. Further, we demonstrate cross-coupling activity of ArmB, which forms OA esters with various alcohols.


Structural Basis of Substrate Conversion in a New Aromatic Peroxygenase

Piontek, Klaus; Strittmatter, Eric; Ullrich, Rene; Grobe, Glenn; Pecyna, Marek J.; Kluge, Martin; Scheibner, Katrin; Hofrichter, Martin; Plattner, Dietmar A., Journal of Biological Chemistry (2013), 288, 34767-34776.

Aromatic peroxygenases (APOs) represent a unique oxidoreductase sub-subclass of heme proteins with peroxygenase and peroxidase activity and were thus recently assigned a distinct EC classification (E.C. They catalyze, inter alia, oxyfunctionalization reactions of aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons with remarkable regio- and stereoselectivities. Here, the first two crystal structures of a heavily glycosylated fungal aromatic peroxygenase (AaeAPO) are described.


The genetic structure of the A mating-type locus of Lentinula edodes.

Au, Chun Hang; Wong, Man Chun; Bao, Dapeng; Zhang, Meiyan; Song, Chunyan; Song, Wenhua; Law, Patrick Tik Wan; Kues, Ursula; Kwan, Hoi Shan, Gene (2014), 535, 184-190.

The Shiitake mushroom, Lentinula edodes (Berk.) Pegler is a tetrapolar basidiomycete with two unlinked mating-type loci, commonly called the A and B loci. Identifying the mating-types in shiitake is important for enhancing the breeding and cultivation of this economically-important edible mushroom. We observed unique genomic organization of the locus in L. edodes which exhibits atypical gene order and multiple repetitive elements around its A locus.


HR-MALDI-MS Imaging Assisted Screening of β-Carboline Alkaloids Discovered from Mycena metata

Jaeger, Robert J. R.; Lamshoeft, Marc; Gottfried, Sebastian; Spiteller, Michael; Spiteller, Peter, Journal of Natural Products (2013), 76, 127-134.

Fruiting bodies of Mycena metata were screened for the presence of new secondary metabolites by means of HPLC-UV, LC-HR-ESIMS, and high-resolution matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging (HR-MALDI-MS imaging). Thus, a new β-carboline alkaloid, 6-hydroxymetatacarboline D (I), was isolated from fruiting bodies of M. metata.


Hypoxyvermelhotins A-C, new pigments from Hypoxylon lechatii sp. nov

Kuhnert, Eric; Heitkaemper, Simone; Fournier, Jacques; Surup, Frank; Stadler, Marc, Fungal Biology (2014), 118, 242-252.

A new species of Hypoxylon was discovered, based on material collected in French Guiana and recognized on the basis of new combination of morphological characters in comparison with type and authentic material of macroscopically similar taxa. Aside from vermelhotin, previously isolated from cultures of endophytic fungi, we identified three novel congeners, for which the trivial names hypoxyvermelhotins A-C were proposed. Like vermelhotin, they constitute orange-red pigments and a preliminary biol. characterization revealed them to have rather strong cytotoxic and moderate to weak antimicrobial effects.


Separation and purification of laccases from two different fungi using aqueous two-phase extraction

Prinz, Axel; Hoenig, Jacqueline; Schüttmann, Ina; Zorn, Holger; Zeiner, Tim, Process Biochemistry (Oxford) (2014), 49, 335-346.

In this study a polyethylene glycol 3000 (PEG 3000)-phosphate aqueous two-phase system at 25 °C and pH 7 was successfully used for laccase purification and separation. Two modes of operation are proposed depending on the aim of the purification task.






(Schizophyllan is a homoglucan with a β-1,3-linked backbone and β-1,6-linked side chains of single glucose units at every other residue).