Certain endophytic fungi belonging to the Hypoxylon
genus have recently been found to produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that have potential relevance as hydrocarbon fuels. Here, a recently discovered Hypoxylon
sp. (BS15) was demonstrated to also produce VOCs, but with diminished VOC production after an extended period of in vitro growth. Restoring VOC production was partially achieved by growing BS15 in growth media containing finely ground woody tissue from the original host plant (Taxodium distichum
). In an effort to isolate VOC production modulators, extracts from this woody tissue were made by sequentially extracting with dichloromethane, methanol, and water. Both the dichloromethane and water extracts were found to modulate VOC production, while the methanol extract had no effect. Surprisingly, the woody tissue remaining after exhaustive extraction was also shown to act as a VOC production modulator when included in the growth media, with changes observed in the production of four compounds. This woody tissue also induced production of two compounds not observed in the original BS15 extract. Filter paper had the same modulating effect as exhaustively extracted woody tissue, suggesting the modulation was perhaps due to cellulose degradation products. Overall, this study demonstrated that VOC production in BS15 can be influenced by multiple compounds in the woody tissue rather than a single modulator.
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