Carotenoids and carotenogenic genes in Podospora anserina: engineering of the carotenoid composition extends the life span of the mycelium.

Current genetics

PubMedID: 19277665

Strobel I, Breitenbach J, Scheckhuber CQ, Osiewacz HD, Sandmann G. Carotenoids and carotenogenic genes in Podospora anserina: engineering of the carotenoid composition extends the life span of the mycelium. Curr Genet. 2009;55(2):175-84.
Carotenoids have been identified in the fungus Podospora anserina and a parallel pathway to neurosporene and beta-carotene was established. Three genes for the beta-carotene branch have been cloned and their function elucidated. They correspond to the al-1, al-2 and al-3 genes from Neurospora crassa. They were individually and in combinations over-expressed in P. anserina in order to modify the carotenoid composition qualitatively and quantitatively. In the resulting transformants, carotenoid synthesis was up to eightfold increased and several intermediates of the pathway together with special cyclic carotenoids, beta-zeacarotene and 7,8-dihydro-beta-carotene, accumulated. All transformants with an over-expressed al-2 gene (encoding a phytoene synthase and a lycopene cyclase) displayed up to 31% prolonged life span.