(599ao) Fungal Oxidation of Sulfur Compounds

Peeples, T. L., The University of Iowa

Beauveria bassiana is a filamentous fungus widely used as a bio-pesticide and biocatalyst. B. bassiana can enhance the yield and selectivity of oxidative biotransformation through the expression of key oxidoreductases under different growth conditions, starvation, or environmental stress. The expression of these oxidases can increased up to 3 fold when B. bassiana is grown in presence of n-hydrocarbons or exposed to insecticides, neonicotinoids and carbamates.  The purpose for this project is to evaluate and enhance the conversion of sulfides into sulfoxides by the induction of oxidases with n-alkanes and insecticides. The sample substrate are phenothiazine and thioanisole. The synthesis of optical sulfoxides is of importance in pharmaceutical and fine chemistry industry; especially as ligands for chiral catalyst. Results include radial growth analysis and oxidase content. The major metabolites were sulfoxides with minor hydroxylated products which were identified via gas chromatography and mass spectroscopy. The oxidation yield was 20% higher in presence of 50 ppm of insecticides. This research will provide an alternative production of sulfoxides and expand B. bassiana’s  oxidative performance.