Alkene cleavage by white-rot Trametes hirsuta: Inducing enzyme activity by a fungicide



Alkene cleavage is a widely employed oxidation reaction in organic chemistry. An enzyme preparation of the wood degrading fungus Trametes hirsuta is known to cleave the C=C double bond adjacent to an aromatic ring to give the corresponding carbonyl compound at the expense of molecular oxygen as the sole oxidant. Lab-grown fungus cultures displayed varied activity and lost their alkene cleavage activity over generations of growth. t-Anethole, which is the best accepted substrate by the enzyme, is described as a major component of essential oils produced by certain plants with powerful fungicidal property. We could now show that the alkene cleaving activity was improved by the addition of the fungicide t-anethole during culture growth which represented to be an efficient method to produce cells possessing a consistent level of high alkene cleavage activity.