[Paper] The Chemical Basis of Fungal Bioluminescence

Organische Chemie.

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[Paper] The Chemical Basis of Fungal Bioluminescence

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Abstract

Many species of fungi naturally produce light, a phenomenon known as bioluminescence, however, the fungal substrates used in the chemical reactions that produce light have not been reported. We identified the fungal compound luciferin 3-hydroxyhispidin, which is biosynthesized by oxidation of the precursor hispidin, a known fungal and plant secondary metabolite. The fungal luciferin does not share structural similarity with the other eight known luciferins. Furthermore, it was shown that 3-hydroxyhispidin leads to bioluminescence in extracts from four diverse genera of luminous fungi, thus suggesting a common biochemical mechanism for fungal bioluminescence.

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