African Journal of
Microbiology Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Microbiol. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0808
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJMR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 5210

Full Length Research Paper

Developments in using fatty acids in fungal chemotaxonomy

  Mohamed E. Zain1,2*, Ali H. Bahkali1 and Monerah R. Al-Othman1
  1Botany and Microbiology Department., College of Science, King Saud University, (KSA), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 2Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Al-Azhar University, Egypt.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 06 August 2013
  •  Published: 20 September 2013



The cellular fatty acid composition of nine species of Fusarium; namely, FusariumanthophilumF. avenaceumF. cerealis, F. graminearumF. graminumF. oxysporum f. sp. conglutinansF. pseudograminearumF. roseum and Fsacchari var. elongatumgrowing on malt extract medium were determined. The fatty acid profiles of the investigated fungi showed very little variation and could only differentiate between few species. However, by adding certain chemical compounds including aspartic acid, glutamic acid, methionine, selenium and urea to the growth medium, the variation of the fatty acid profile was greatly increased and differentiated between all the investigated fungi. For example, pentadecanoic acid was not produced by F. anthophilum on malt extract broth (MEB) but only produced on MEB supplemented with aspartic acid. On the other hand, linolenic fatty acid was neither produced by F. anthophilum nor F. roseumgrown on MEB, but it was produced by F. anthophilum in presence of aspartic acid and byF. roseum in the presence of glutamic acid. The fatty acid profiles could be useful for characterization and identification of fungi if determined under different conditions.


Key words: Fungal chemotaxonomy; fatty acids; Fusarium spp.; environmental conditions.