Sustainable Utilization of Fungi in Agriculture and Industry

Fungal Metabolites: Industrial Applications and Challenges

Author(s): Amol Sawant, Hemlata Sajwan and Koteswara Rao V * .

Pp: 159-201 (43)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815040340122020015

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Fungi are the second largest group of eukaryotes and play a vital role in the biological system. These fungi are cell factories that produce a variety of industrially important secondary metabolites (SM) that are beneficial for humans, animals, and the environment. Microorganisms are a rich source of natural compounds with a significant commercial value; on the other hand, they produce low-quality products that may not satisfy industrial standards for commercialization. Numerous fungal species produce key industrial enzymes, antibiotics, anticancer drugs, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and immunosuppressants. Antibiotics belonging to the β lactam family are the most often prescribed antibiotics worldwide. Penicillin has a core structure, 6-amino penicillanic acid (6-APA), interwoven with the ß-lactam ring and drives the development of semisynthetic antibiotics. Several dermatophytoses are treated with griseofulvin (GRI), and mycophenolic acid (MPA), and the cholesterol-lowering drugs (lovastatin and compactin) are produced from Aspergillus and Penicillium species, respectively. The SM is also effective against most of the pandemic novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2), human immuno virus (HIV), and influenza virus (H1N1) strains protease inhibitors that limit virus propagation. Furthermore, natural antioxidants (amanitin, ferulic acid, resveratrol, and flavonoids) are synthetically conjugated or co-crystallized with active SM for clinical uses. Many biosynthetic gene clusters, comparative genomics, and functional transcripts are encoded in fungal genomes, reigniting interest in discovering new compounds. The strong transcriptional regulation likely clarifies the metabolic routes in the genome. Viable approaches necessitate the availability of genome sequences, molecular tools, and a strategy tailored to alter the genomes of specific strains for industrially significant molecules. Researchers have devised a new strategy for strain generation of various genetic engineering tools, involving recombinant DNA technology, protein engineering, metabolite flux pathways, and synthetic biology approaches, using a basic understanding of genetic makeup.

Keywords: Antibiotics, Anticancer properties, Biotechnological applications, βlactam antibiotic, Novel molecules, Ssecondary metabolites, Strain development.

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