Document Detail

Secondary chemicals protect mould from fungivory.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17686752     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The vast repertoire of toxic fungal secondary metabolites has long been assumed to have an evolved protective role against fungivory. It still remains elusive, however, whether fungi contain these compounds as an anti-predator adaptation. We demonstrate that loss of secondary metabolites in the soil mould Aspergillus nidulans causes, under the attack of the fungivorous springtail Folsomia candida, a disadvantage to the fungus. Springtails exhibited a distinct preference for feeding on a mutant deleted for LaeA, a global regulator of Aspergillus secondary metabolites. Consumption of the mutant yielded a reproductive advantage to the arthropod but detrimental effects on fungal biomass compared with a wild-type fungus capable of producing the entire arsenal of secondary metabolites. Our results demonstrate that fungal secondary metabolites shape food choice behaviour, can affect population dynamics of fungivores, and suggest that fungivores may provide a selective force favouring secondary metabolites synthesis in fungi.
Marko Rohlfs; Martin Albert; Nancy P Keller; Frank Kempken
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biology letters     Volume:  3     ISSN:  1744-9561     ISO Abbreviation:  Biol. Lett.     Publication Date:  2007 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-08-31     Completed Date:  2007-10-30     Revised Date:  2013-06-06    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101247722     Medline TA:  Biol Lett     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  523-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Zoological Institute, Department of Animal Ecology, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Am Botanischen Garten 1-9, 24098 Kiel, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Arthropods / physiology*
Aspergillus nidulans / metabolism*
Fungal Proteins / physiology*
Gene Expression Regulation, Fungal
Selection, Genetic
Grant Support
1 R01 A1065728-01//PHS HHS
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Fungal Proteins

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