A total of 36 UV-induced mutants with altered colony morphology were isolated from strain
T334, a potential biocontrol agent against plant pathogenic fungi with the ability to produce constitutively low levels of chitinases. The level of constitutive
-acetyl-glucosaminidase production in standing and shaken cultures under non-inductive conditions was tested in mutants and compared to that of the parental strain. About 30% of the mutants showed significantly increased levels of enzyme production, with strain T334 col26a being the best producer. This mutant and the parental strain were subjected to
confrontation assays with plant pathogenic
Fusarium culmorum, Pythium debaryanum
strains. The mutant derivative could be characterized by significantly higher biocontrol index values than the parental strain in each experiment, suggesting, that mutants with improved constitutive extracellular chitinase secretion could be applied for biocontrol purposes against fungal plant pathogens.
Peptaibols and the related peptaibiotics are linear, amphipathic polypeptides. More than 300 of these secondary metabolites have been described to date. These compounds are composed of 5-20 amino acids and are generally produced in microheterogeneous mixtures. Peptaibols and peptaibiotics with unusual amino acid content are the result of non-ribosomal biosynthesis. Large multifunctional enzymes known as peptide synthetases assemble these molecules by the multiple carrier thiotemplate mechanism from a remarkable range of precursors, which can be N-methylated, acylated or reduced. Peptaibols and peptaibiotics show interesting physico-chemical and biological properties including the formation of pores in bilayer lipid membranes, as well as antibacterial, antifungal, occasionally antiviral activities, and may elicit plant resistance. The three-dimensional structure of peptaibols and peptaibiotics is characterized predominantly by one type of the helical motifs a-helix, 310-helix and b-bend ribbon spiral. The aim of this review is to summarize the data available about the biosynthesis, biological activity and conformational properties of peptaibols and peptaibiotics described from Trichoderma species.