In daylight, Neonothopanus It is a remarkably brown mushroom. But behind the friction facade, a surprise is hidden: at night, the mushroom ghost lights up green. Neonothopanus light emitting is one of more than 100 mushroom species. Aristotle already documented this phenomenon, called bioluminescence, while describing the shimmering, rotting treebark. Now, for the first time, scientists have described the biochemical pathway to elucidate bioluminescent fungi. But they went even further: by placing the three genes necessary to cause a glow to a non-glowing yeast, they created an artificially radiating eukaryote. Fyodor Kondrashov, a professor at the Austrian Institute of Science and Technology (IST Austria), was co-author of the work published today. PNASIt was directed by Ilia Yampolsky in the Biochemistry Chemistry Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.
Fireflies and shining fungi in the forest floor are among the few things that will be seen in a dark night in the depths of the Brazilian forest. Both behave like live night lights through the bioluminescence process, a natural phenomenon in which a substance called luciferin is oxidized with the help of the enzyme luciferase to spread a light. Bioluminescence is found in many species, from glowing worms to deep-sea fish. However, until now, the biochemical pathway that makes luciferin is not understood in any organism except bacteria. This lack of knowledge made it difficult to attempt higher organisms such as animals and plants. Now, how did the international cooperation between the twelve different institutions, led by Fildor Kondrashov, Louisa Gonzalez Somermeyer and previous group member Karen Sargsyan, led by Ilia Yampolsky, described eukaryote? Neonothopanus shines.
Scientists have found the key genes responsible for bioluminescence. Neonothopanus. Using library screening and genome analysis, the team identified enzymes that contribute to the synthesis of luciferin. The fungal luciferin, a substrate for the bioluminescence reaction, showed only two enzymatic steps from a well-known metabolite called caffeic acid produced by the fungus. Kondrashov's team compared the mushrooms to those who didn't, revealing how the gene proliferation allowed bioluminescence to evolve for over a hundred million years. Why evolved, yet unclear, says Kondrashov: ov Is bioluminescence useful or just a by-product? We don't know yet. There is evidence that the glow affects insects that distribute sports. But I don't think that's convincing. "
Knowing how bioluminescent mushrooms are angry, researchers later burned non-bioluminescent eukaryotes. Placing the luciferase-encoding gene Neonothopanus products, together with three other genes, which form the chain that converts the metabolite into caffeic acid reaction, luciferin to yeast Pichia pastoris resulted in bright yeast colonies. Ar We don't supply a chemical that brews the yeast. Instead, we provide the enzymes that are needed in yeast to transform a already existing metabolic product into light, azır explains Kondrashov.
This discovery may find widespread practices that enlighten the changes in physiology from the tissues to the shining animal and plant creation. Işık Considering science-fiction scenarios where glowing plants replace street lights – that's it. This is the leap that could lead to this, böyle said Kondrashov. "
Institute of Science and Technology Austria. .