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Biotransformation of biphenyl by Paecilomyces lilacinus and characterization of ring cleavage products

Gesell, M., Hammer, E., Specht, M., Francke, W., Schauer, F.
Applied and environmental microbiology 2001 v.67 no.4 pp. 1551-1557
Paecilomyces lilacinus, metabolism, chemical structure, fungicide resistance
We examined the pathway by which the fungicide biphenyl is metabolized in the imperfect fungus Paecilomyces lilacinus. The initial oxidation yielded the three monohydroxylated biphenyls. Further hydroxylation occurred on the first and the second aromatic ring systems, resulting in the formation of five di- and trihydroxylated metabolites. The fungus could cleave the aromatic structures, resulting in the transformation of biphenyl via ortho-substituted dihydroxybiphenyl to six-ring fission products. All compounds were characterized by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy and proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. These compounds include 2-hydroxy-4-phenylmuconic acid and 2-hydroxy-4-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-muconic acid, which were produced from 3,4-dihydroxybiphenyl and further transformed to the corresponding lactones 4-phenyl-2-pyrone-6-carboxylic acid and 4-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-2-pyrone-6-carboxylic acid, which accumulated in large amounts. Two additional ring cleavage products were identified as (5-oxo-3-phenyl-2,5-dihydrofuran-2-yl)-acetic acid and [5-oxo-3-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)-2,5-dihydrofuran-2-yl]-acetic acid. We found that P. lilacinus has a high transformation capacity for biphenyl, which could explain this organism's tolerance to this fungicide.