Antonio Azzollini 1 , Lorenzo Boggia 2 , Julien Boccard 1 , Barbara Sgorbini 2 , Nicole Lecoultre 3 , Pierre-Marie Allard 1 , Patrizia Rubiolo 2 , Serge Rudaz 1 , Katia Gindro 3 , Carlo Bicchi 2 , Jean-Luc Wolfender 1
05 February 2018
Fungal co-cultivation has emerged as a promising way for activating cryptic biosynthetic pathways and discovering novel antimicrobial metabolites. For the success of such studies, a key element remains the development of standardized co-cultivation methods compatible with high-throughput analytical procedures. To efficiently highlight induction processes, it is crucial to acquire a holistic view of intermicrobial communication at the molecular level. To tackle this issue, a strategy was developed based on the miniaturization of fungal cultures that allows for a concomitant survey of induction phenomena in volatile and non-volatile metabolomes. Fungi were directly grown in vials, and each sample was profiled by head space solid phase microextraction gas chromatography mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC-MS), while the corresponding solid culture medium was analyzed by liquid chromatography high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) after solvent extraction. This strategy was implemented for the screening of volatile and non-volatile metabolite inductions in an ecologically relevant fungal co-culture of Eutypa lata (Pers.) Tul. & C. Tul. (Diatrypaceae) and Botryosphaeria obtusa (Schwein.) Shoemaker (Botryosphaeriaceae), two wood-decaying fungi interacting in the context of esca disease of grapevine. For a comprehensive evaluation of the results, a multivariate data analysis combining Analysis of Variance and Partial Least Squares approaches, namely AMOPLS, was used to explore the complex LC-HRMS and GC-MS datasets and highlight dynamically induced compounds. A time-series study was carried out over 9 days, showing characteristic metabolite induction patterns in both volatile and non-volatile dimensions. Relevant links between the dynamics of expression of specific metabolite production were observed. In addition, the antifungal activity of 2-nonanone, a metabolite incrementally produced over time in the volatile fraction, was assessed against Eutypa lata and Botryosphaeria obtusa in an adapted bioassay set for volatile compounds. This compound has shown antifungal activity on both fungi and was found to be co-expressed with a known antifungal compound, O-methylmellein, induced in solid media. This strategy could help elucidate microbial inter- and intra-species cross-talk at various levels. Moreover, it supports the study of concerted defense/communication mechanisms for efficiently identifying original antimicrobials.