Lipoxygenase activity accelerates programmed spore germination in Aspergillus fumigatus

Gregory J. Fischer, William Bacon, Jun Yang, Jonathan M. Palmer, Taylor Dagenais, Bruce D. Hammock, Nancy P. Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus initiates invasive growth through a programmed germination process that progresses from dormant spore to swollen spore (SS) to germling (GL) and ultimately invasive hyphal growth. We find a lipoxygenase with considerable homology to human Alox5 and Alox15, LoxB, that impacts the transitions of programmed spore germination. Overexpression of loxB (OE::loxB) increases germination with rapid advance to the GL stage. However, deletion of loxB (ΔloxB) or its signal peptide only delays progression to the SS stage in the presence of arachidonic acid (AA); no delay is observed in minimal media. This delay is remediated by the addition of the oxygenated AA oxylipin 5-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (5-HETE) that is a product of human Alox5. We propose that A. fumigatus acquisition of LoxB (found in few fungi) enhances germination rates in polyunsaturated fatty acid-rich environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number831
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - May 9 2017


  • Arachidonic acid
  • Aspergillus fumigatus
  • Linoleic acid
  • Lipoxygenase activity
  • Spore germination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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