Please login first
Catabolism of branched chain and aromatic amino transferases, route to fusel alcohols and acetates by the Ceratocystidaceae.
* 1, 2 , * 2 , 1 , 2 , 1
1  FABI, University of Pretoria
2  Agricultural Research council Biotechnology Platform


Fungi in the family Ceratocystidaceae produce fusel alcohols and acetates that have fruity and floral odours. Since fusel alcohols are produced in fungi from amino acids via the Ehrlich pathway in a three-step catabolic process, we identified and characterized the genes encoding enzymes involved in catalysing the first and second steps in this pathway. We identified three putative branched-chain amino transferases, three putative aromatic amino transferases and a putative pyruvate decarboxylase in each of the Bretziella, Berkeleyomyces, Ceratocystis, Davidsoniella, Endoconidiophora, Huntiella and Thielaviopsis genomes. Using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS), also revealed that all the strains included in this study produced high levels of isoamyl acetate. In contrast, only some members of Bretziella, Berkeleyomyces, Ceratocystis and Huntiella produced isobutyl acetate, while only the Berkeleyomyces, Ceratocystis and Huntiella strains produced 2-phenylethyl acetate in low quantities. Either by accepting the branched-chain amino acid substrates (valine and leucine) or accepting the aromatic amino acid substrate (phenylalanine). Fusel alcohols and acetates produced by fungi in the Ceratocystidaceae can therefore be used as additives of food products, perfumes and soaps. In addition, identified fusel alcohols can potentially be utilized as biofuels or biodiesels, bringing solutions to the problems associated with limited fossil resources and climate change.

Keywords: Ceratocystidaceae, branched chain fusel alcohols, aromatic fusel alcohols, fusel acetates , Ehrlish pathway,