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Current Research (PhD Thesis):

Phylogenetically, Zygomycetes are the ancient class of terrestrial saprophytic fungi associated with soil or decaying plant and animal material. A number of C-18 apocarotenoids (trisporic acids) are formed as breakdown products of ß-carotene, acts as sex hormones. The intermediates in the carotenoid breakdown pathway, undergoes mutual exchange between so called ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ complementary mating partners during sexual communication. We address the question whether the spectrum of “early and late trisporoids” may represent chemical signals with a different biological significance among different members within the Class. The carB gene encoding phytoene dehydrogenase is involved in carotenogenesis in Mucor mucedo, Blakeslea trispora, Mucor circinelloides and Phycomyces blakesleeanus. We use Real time PCR to analyse the gene expression pattern of carB using synthetic trisporoids based on the hypothesis that they act as the transcription factors in unmated conditions among both heterothallic and homothallic Zygomycetes (Parasitella parasitica, Lentamyces parricida). Besides, we investigate to localize the trisporic acids in the fungal hyphae by a non invasive method, Coherent Antistokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS).
last updated on 2014-02-13