The formation of sesquiterpenoid presilphiperfolane and cameroonane metabolites in the Bcbot4 null mutant of Botrytis cinerea
Botrytis cinerea is a polyphagous fungal parasite which causes serious damage to more than 200 plant species and consequent economic losses for commercial crops. This pathogen produces two families of phytotoxins, the botryanes and botcinins, which are involved in the infection mechanism. The B. cinerea genome has provided a complete picture of the genes involved in the biosynthesis of its secondary metabolites. The botrydial biosynthetic gene cluster has been identified. This cluster consists of seven genes, where the genes BcBOT1, BcBOT3 and BcBOT4 encode three mono-oxygenases. A study of the Bcbot4Δ null mutant revealed that this mono-oxygenase was involved in the hydroxylation at C-4 of the probotryane skeleton (C-11 of the presilphiperfolane skeleton). A detailed study of the Bcbot4Δ null mutant has been undertaken in order to study the metabolic fate of the presilphiperfolan-8-ol intermediate biosynthesized by this organism and in particular by this strain. As a result three new presilphiperfolanes and three new cameroonanes have been identified. The results suggest that the absence of the oxygen function at C-11 of the presilphiperfolane skeleton permits rearrangement to a cameroonane whilst hydroxylation at C-11 precludes this rearrangement. It is possible that the interactions of the C-11 hydroxylated derivatives perturb the stereo-electronic requirements for the migration of the C-11:C-7 sigma bond to C-8.