Effects of the Red Pigment in Cordyceps pruinosa on the Biological, Structural and Optical Properties of Fungal Spores and Scavenging of Plasma-Generated Reactive Species
To better understand the function of the red pigment in Cordyceps pruinosa, its effects on the cellular response of fungal spores to plasma-generated reactive oxygen species were studied. It is known that the degree of pigmentation in fungi is affected by environmental factors such as light exposure. C. pruinosa produced a red pigment when it grew in the light condition, but produced no pigment in the dark condition. An atmospheric-pressure plasma jet (APPJ) was used to generate reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in aqueous solution. Exposure of C. pruinosa spores to the APPJ decreased their viability in a time-dependent manner. For the same plasma treatment times, viability of spores was higher for light condition-grown C. pruinosa (LCP) than for dark-grown C. pruinosa (DCP). Moreover, analysis of oxygen radical scavenging activity in the ethanol extracts of LCP and DCP revealed that the higher spore viability of LCP could be attributed to the red pigment in the fungus. Induced circular dichroism revealed that the red pigment was embedded in the cell wall matrix. Liquid-chromatography and mass-spectroscopy results showed that the red pigment in C. pruinosa contains a compound with a molecular weight of 570 and its oxidation products. Overall, this study shows that the red pigment in C. pruinosa protects its spores from reactive species generated from the plasma itself and those derived from reaction of plasma radicals with the aqueous solution.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2018
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