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Effects of fungal infection on lipid extract composition of higher plant remains: comparison of shoots of a Cenomanian conifer, uninfected and infected by extinct fungi

Authors
Journal
Organic Geochemistry
0146-6380
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
31
Issue
12
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/s0146-6380(00)00077-2
Keywords
  • Frenelopsis Alata
  • Lipids
  • Cenomanian
  • Fungi
  • Lignin Degradation
Disciplines
  • Chemistry

Abstract

Abstract The lipid fraction extracted from uninfected shoots of a fossil conifer, Frenelopsis alata, was analysed by gas-chromatography–mass-spectrometry, and compared with shoots of the same conifer infected by extinct epiphyllous fungi, so as to study the effects of fungal infection on the chemical composition of extracts from higher plant remains. The extracts from the uninfected shoots appeared to be composed of (i) common constituents of higher plant lipids such as n-alkanes and fatty acids, (ii) elemental sulphur, and (iii) substantial amounts of terpenoids characteristic of conifers, such as cadalene, beyerane, dehydroabietane and related compounds. Comparison of this extract with that of fungal-infected shoots revealed, in addition to the aforementioned compounds, the presence of substantial amounts of hydroxysuccinic acid and functionalised benzoic compounds that were interpreted as degradation products of lignin by fungi. This study afforded preliminary indications of the composition of extracts from higher plant remains infected by fungi.

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