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Phylogenetic Identification of Fungi Isolated from the Marine Sponge Tethya aurantium and Identification of Their Secondary Metabolites

By Jutta Wiese, Birgit Ohlendorf, Martina Blümel, Rolf Schmaljohann and Johannes F. Imhoff


Fungi associated with the marine sponge Tethya aurantium were isolated and identified by morphological criteria and phylogenetic analyses based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions. They were evaluated with regard to their secondary metabolite profiles. Among the 81 isolates which were characterized, members of 21 genera were identified. Some genera like Acremonium, Aspergillus, Fusarium, Penicillium, Phoma, and Trichoderma are quite common, but we also isolated strains belonging to genera like Botryosphaeria, Epicoccum, Parasphaeosphaeria, and Tritirachium which have rarely been reported from sponges. Members affiliated to the genera Bartalinia and Volutella as well as to a presumably new Phoma species were first isolated from a sponge in this study. On the basis of their classification, strains were selected for analysis of their ability to produce natural products. In addition to a number of known compounds, several new natural products were identified. The scopularides and sorbifuranones have been described elsewhere. We have isolated four additional substances which have not been described so far. The new metabolite cillifuranone (1) was isolated from Penicillium chrysogenum strain LF066. The structure of cillifuranone (1) was elucidated based on 1D and 2D NMR analysis and turned out to be a previously postulated intermediate in sorbifuranone biosynthesis. Only minor antibiotic bioactivities of this compound were found so far

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