Effect of CPTA and cycocel on the biosynthesis of carotenoids by Phycomyces blakesleeanus mutants

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CPTA and cycocel cause accumulation of lycopene and γ-carotene, simultaneously inhibiting the formation of β-carotene and β-zeacarotene in Phycomyces blakesleeanus mutant strain C115. Phytoene synthesis is enhanced. CPTA is more effective than cycocel. Kinetic studies show that with increasing concentrations of CPTA, lycopene and γ-carotene increase with the concomitant decrease in β-carotene, the total of these three carotenes being almost equal to β-carotene present in the control. When CPTA-treated mycelium is washed free of the chemical and resuspended in phosphate buffer solution containing 2·5% glucose (pH 5·6), β-carotene is formed at the expense of both γ-carotene and lycopene. β-Zeacarotene, which is not present in the mycelium, reappears upon resuspension. These results indicate that CPTA is inhibiting the enzymes causing cyclization both at neurosporene and lycopene levels. Studies on the effect of CPTA on the high lycopene mutant strain C9 reveal that with increasing concentrations of the compound, lycopene increases slightly and both β-carotene and γ-carotene decrease. Phytoene synthesis is stimulated up to a certain level of CPTA and then becomes steady. In the albino mutant strain C5, there is a slight increase in phytoene formation on the addition of CPTA to the medium. No other carotenoid is formed, suggesting that CPTA cannot remove the block caused by genetic mutation and exerts its influence in an already existing biosynthetic pathway. © 1973.

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