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Fungi have the capacity to assimilate a diverse range of both inorganic and organic sulfur compounds. It has been recognized that all sulfur sources taken up by fungi are in soluble forms. In this study, we present evidence that fungi can utilize gaseous carbonyl sulfide(COS) for the assimilation of a sulfur compound. We found that the filamentousfungus Trichoderma harzianum strain THIF08, which has constitutively high COS-degrading activity, was able to grow with COS as the sole sulfur source. Cultivation with 34S-labeled COS revealed that sulfur atom from COS was incorporated into intracellular metabolites such as glutathione and ergothioneine. COS degradation by strain THIF08, in which as much of the moisture derived from the agar medium as possible was removed, indicated that gaseous COS was taken up directly into the cell. Escherichia coli transformed with a COS hydrolase (COSase) gene, which is clade D of the β-class carbonic anhydrase subfamily enzyme with high specificity for COS but low activity for CO2 hydration, showed that the COSase is involved in COS assimilation. Comparison of sulfur metabolites of strain THIF08 revealed a higher relative abundance of reduced sulfur compounds under the COS-supplemented condition than the sulfate-supplemented condition, suggesting that sulfur assimilation is more energetically efficient with COS than with sulfate because there is no redox change of sulfur. Phylogenetic analysis of the genes encoding COSase, which are distributed in a wide range of fungal taxa, suggests that the common ancestor of Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Mucoromycota acquired COSase at about 790-670 Ma. © 2024 Iizuka et al.

Publication Title

Applied and Environmental Microbiology

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carbonyl sulfide, evolution, fixation, fungi, sulfur metabolism

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Biology Commons



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