IRON AND ZINC ELEMENTS IN RED PIGMENT PRODUCED BY FUNGUS, GELATINOMYCES SIAMENSIS AND ITS ROLE ON BAMBOOWUTTIWAT JITJAK, NAMTHIP SA-NGUANSRI AND NIWAT SANOAMUANG
Gelatinomyces siamensis is an ascomycete fungus discovered on bamboo in Nam Nao national Park, Petchabun, Thailand. It is externally seen as a black ball attaching on bamboo branch with unclear ecological role. Due to the secretion of the red pigment obviously seen in the culture media which was expected to contain certain colored elements, the pigment ratio was determined in single ascospore isolates then extracted and tested for the presence of transition elements, iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) via flame atomic absorption spectroscopy. It suggested that different single ascospore was differently able to produce the red substance and the pigment contained Fe (1.72 ± 0.16 mg/mL) and Zn (2.78 ± 0.73 mg/mL). This implied that the metal-containing pigments might be related to melanin resulting in dark apothecia. Additionally, the bamboo wood which the fungus was found was dissected and directly placed onto potato dextrose agar to observe microbes living in/on the bamboo tissues. According to morphological investigation, none of G. siamensis was found inside the wood samples but only on the surface. Also, no disease incidence on bamboo sticks was found when they were inoculated with the fungal conidia derived from the tissue isolation. This suggested that this fungus was only superficially grown on the surface of the wood and did not reside in or penetrate into the bamboo tissues. As the results of these, the fungus might absorb the metals via a certain compound seen as red pigment and being epiphytic to bamboo was most likely the ecological role of G.siamensis on bamboo plants.
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