Extracellular alkalinization and H2O2 production are important early events during induced resistance establishment in plants. In a screen for metabolites as plant resistance activators from 98 fungal isolates associated with marine sponge Hymeniacidon perleve, the cyclopiazonic acids (CPAs) produced by Aspergillus oryzae HMP-F28 induced significant extracellular alkalinization coupled with augmented H2O2 production in tobacco cell suspensions. Bioassay-guided fractionation led to the isolation and structural elucidation of a new CPA congener (4, 3-hydroxysperadine A) and three known ones (1-3). To construct a mutasynthetic strain to generate unnatural CPA analogues, a hybrid pks-nrps gene (cpaS) was disrupted to abolish the production of the critical precursor of cyclo-acetoacetyl-L-tryptophan (cAATrp) and all the downstream CPA products. Elimination of cAATrp will allow cAATrp mimics being processed by the CPA biosynthetic machinery to produce CPA derivatives with designed structural features.
Keywords: Aspergillus oryzae; Cyclopiazonic acid; hybrid pks-nrps; oxidative burst; plant immune.