ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
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Dicarboxylic acids and hydroxy fatty acids in different species of fungi

Aleksandra Ostachowska, Piotr Stepnowski, and Marek Gołębiowski

Laboratory of Analysis of Natural Compounds, Department of Environmental Analysis, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland



Abstract: Secondary metabolites of fungi can be responsible for allergies; therefore, the identification of compounds produced by these organisms is very important. Fungi produce large amounts of secondary metabolites, which belong to groups of chemicals such as: dicarboxylic acids, hydroxy acids, alcohols, hydrocarbons, esters, fatty acids, sterols, amino acids and mycotoxins. The presence of all these compounds in human proximity contributes to many diseases. Therefore, the aim of the study was a qualitative and quantitative analysis of hydroxy and dicarboxylic acids produced by fungi occurring in student hostel in Poland, in the province of Pomerania. The following species of fungi were subjected to extraction: Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus candidus, Rhizopus sp., Geotrichum candidum, and Penicillium chrysogenum. A mixture of ethyl acetate and methanol was used for the extraction. The obtained extracts were further analyzed by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC–MS). In all samples of fungi, the presence of a total of 22 acids, including 13 dicarboxylic and 9 hydroxy acids, was confirmed. Most acids (17 different acids) were identified in A. fumigatus. Only 10 acids were identified in the mycelium of G. candidum and A. niger. Acids which were identified in all samples of the mycelium were 22-hydroxydocosanoic acid, 24-hydroxytetracosanoic acid and adipic acid. The most abundant compounds were 22-hydroxydocosanoic acid in A. fumigatus, A. candidus, Rhizopus sp., G. candidum and P. chrysogenum, and succinic acid in A. niger. More experiments are needed to understand the physiological role of hydroxy and dicarboxylic acids. We hope that our results are an important contribution to further studies on the human health.

Keywords: Secondary metabolites; Fungi; Dicarboxylic acids; Hydroxy fatty acids; Human health

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-016-0008-4


Chemical Papers 71 (5) 999–1005 (2017)

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