Microorganisms as tools in modern chemistry: the biotransformation of 3-indolylacetonitrile and tryptamine by fungi

Microrganismos como ferramentas na química moderna: a biotransformação da 3-indolilacetonitrila e triptamina por fungos

Chemical reactions performed by microorganisms have been used as a modern tool in chemistry. In this work, the ability of the fungi Beauveria bassiana and Aspergillus niger to modify the chemical structure of indole compounds was studied. Beauveria bassiana was able to transform 3-indolylacetonitrile into 3-methylindole while Aspergillus niger transformed tryptamine into 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetamide. Interestingly, these fungi were able to perform both reduction and oxidation of the indole compounds fed, the oxidation occurring with improved levels of oxygen uptake. The results prove once more the versatility of microorganisms to perform a wide range of industrially attractive chemical reactions.

Biotransformations; Beauveria bassiana; Aspergillus niger; 3-indolylacetonitrile; tryptamine

Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia USP - ICB III - Dep. de Microbiologia, Sociedade Brasileira de Microbiologia, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes, 2415, Cidade Universitária, 05508-900 São Paulo, SP - Brasil, Ramal USP 7979, Tel. / Fax: (55 11) 3813-9647 ou 3037-7095 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: bjm@sbmicrobiologia.org.br