Occidiofungin, a unique antifungal glycopeptide produced by a strain of Burkholderia contaminans

Academic Article


  • Bacterial strain Burkholderia contaminans MS14 was isolated from soil that suppressed brown patch disease of lawn grass. An antifungal compound was purified from the liquid culture of this bacterium. In this study, complete covalent structures of two purified closely related antifungal compounds were determined by the experiments of TOCSY, NOESY, ROESY, 13C HSQC 2D NMR, and ESI-MS and GC. The analysis of monoisotopic masses of the purified preparation indicated the presence of two related compounds with masses determined to be 1199.543 and 1215.518 Da; the difference corresponds to the mass of an oxygen atom. GC analysis identified a xylose sugar attached to the antifungal compound. NMR experiments revealed that the compound is cyclic and composed of eight amino acids, two of which are β-hydroxy derivatives of Tyr and Asn, and one being a novel amino acid. The novel amino acid serves as the scaffold for the attachment of the xylose and a short acyl chain. The spectrum and concentration of antifungal activity were determined using a microtiter plate assay. The antifungal compound demonstrated potent antifungal activities against a broad panel of fungal plant and animal pathogens, as well as two Pythium spp. Microscopic observations showed that the antifungal compound disrupts normal membrane morphology. The cells fill with large inclusion bodies and the membrane becomes irregularly shaped and swollen following the exposure to subinhibitory concentrations of the antifungal compound. Our data support the identification of a novel fungicide and the compound has been named occidiofungin, meaning fungal killer. © 2009 American Chemical Society.
  • Published In

  • Biochemistry  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Lu SE; Novak J; Austin FW; Gu G; Ellis D; Kirk M; Wilson-Stanford S; Tonelli M; Smith L
  • Start Page

  • 8312
  • End Page

  • 8321
  • Volume

  • 48
  • Issue

  • 35