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Biosynthetic studies on the p-benzoquinones produced by Shanorella Spirotricha Benjamin Wat, Chi-Kit

Abstract

From the culture medium of Shanorella spirotricha Benjamin, four p-benzoquinones have been isolated and identified. The major pigment is shanorellin (2,6-dimethyl-3-hydroxymethyl-5-hydroxy-1,4-benzoquinone). The other three pigments are the acetate, the ethyl ether and the dimer of shanorellin. Shanorellin was found to be synthesized via the acetate-polymalonate pathway by tracer experiments with ¹⁴C-labelled compounds and by chemical degradation of the labelled shanorellin produced. A study was made of the optimal conditions required for the production of these benzoqulnones. Significant factors were pH, temperature and sources of nitrogen and vitamins of the nutrient medium.

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