Endophytic fungi from Dongxiang wild rice (<em>Oryza rufipogon</em> Griff<em>.</em>) show diverse catalytic potential for converting glycyrrhizin
3 Biotech. 2022 Mar;12(3):79. doi: 10.1007/s13205-022-03138-x. Epub 2022 Feb 26.
Endophytic fungi inhabiting niche environments are novel biocatalyst resources that need to be exploited urgently. In this study, 63 endophytic fungi isolated from Dongxiang wild rice (Oryza rufipogon Griff.) were tested to assess their potentials to transform glycyrrhizin (GL) into glycyrrhetinic acid monoglucuronide (GAMG) or glycyrrhetinic acid (GA), of which 12 strains were shown to have β-d-glucuronidase activity. Based on morphological characteristics and rDNA ITS sequence analysis, the strains S59, L138, L55 and R57 with high GL molar conversion rates (55%, 45%, 65% and 89%) were further identified as Microsphaeropsis arundinis S59, Penicillium rubens L138, Aspergillus flavus L55 and Eupenicillium javanicum R57, respectively. These four strains with four different types of GL conversion processes were identified, i.e., (1) GL → GAMG in M. arundinis S59, (2) GL → GAMG and GA in A. flavus L55, (3) GL → GA in P. rubens L138, and (4) GL → GAMG → GA in E. javanicum R57, in which the bioconversion type (4) is reported for the first time. The study not only provided abundant and diverse β-d-glucuronidase resources that can be used for GL bioconversion, especially for GAMG biosynthesis from endophytic fungi, but also expanded our knowledge of potential roles of endophytes as new biocatalysts in biotransformation.