Anaerobic Elemental Sulfur Reduction by Fungus Fusarium oxysporum

  • ABE Tsuyoshi
    Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba
  • HOSHINO Takayuki
    Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba
  • NAKAMURA Akira
    Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba
  • TAKAYA Naoki
    Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Tsukuba

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  • Anaerobic Elemental Sulfur Reduction by Fungus<i>Fusarium oxysporum</i>

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Reduction of inorganic sulfur compounds by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum was examined. When transferred from a normoxic to an anoxic environment, F. oxysporum reduced elemental sulfur to hydrogen sulfide (H2S). This reaction accompanied fungal growth and oxidation of the carbon source (ethanol) to acetate. Over 2-fold more of H2S than of acetate was produced, which is the theoretical correlation for the oxidation of ethanol to acetate. NADH-dependent sulfur reductase (SR) activity was detected in cell-free extracts of the H2S-producing fungus, and was found to be up-regulated under the anaerobic conditions. On the other hands both O2 consumption by the cells and cytochrome c oxidase activity by the crude mitochondrial fractions decreased. These results indicate that H2S production involving SR was due to a novel dissimilation mechanism of F. oxysporum, and that the fungus adapts to anaerobic conditions by replacing the energy-producing mechanism of O2 respiration with sulfur reduction.

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