The Antifungal Test: An Efficient Screening Tool for the Discovery of Microbial Metabolites with Respiratory Inhibitory Activity

Valuable natural compounds produced by a variety of microorganisms can be used as lead molecules for development of new agrochemicals. Furthermore, high-throughput in vitro screening systems with specific modes of action can increase the probability of discovery of new fungicides. In the current study, a rapid assay tested with various microbes was developed to determine the degree of respiratory inhibition of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in two different liquid media, YG (containing a fermentable carbon source) and NFYG (containing a non-fermentable carbon source). Based on this system, we screened 100 fungal isolates that were classified into basidiomycetes, to find microbial secondary metabolites that act as respiratory inhibitors. Consequently, of the 100 fungal species tested, the culture broth of an IUM04881 isolate inhibited growth of S. cerevisiae in NFYG medium, but not in YG medium. The result is comparable to that from treatment with kresoxim-methyl used as a control, suggesting that the culture broth of IUM04881 isolate might contain active compounds showing the inhibition activity for respiratory chain. Based on the assay developed in this study and spectroscopic analysis, we isolated and identified an antifungal compound (-)-oudemansin A from culture broth of IUM04881 that is identified as Oudemansiella venosolamellata. This is the first report that (-)-oudemansin A is identified from O. venosolamellata in Korea. Taken together, the development of this assay will accelerate efforts to find and identify natural respiratory inhibitors from various microbes.