Formation of Azaphilone Pigments and Monasnicotinic Acid by the Fungus Aspergillus cavernicola

Tatiana V. Antipova, Valentina Zhelifonova, Kirill V. Zaitsev, Alexander Zherebker, Boris Baskunov, Yuri F. Oprunenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Due to the ever-increasing demand for healthy and safe food, much attention has been gained by natural food colorants. This study showed the culture fluid extract of the fungus Aspergillus cavernicola VKM F-906 to contain red pigment and monasnicotinic acid (MNA) in predominant amounts. The structure of the pigment corresponded to cis-cavernamine (red pigment, RP). Two tautomers, NH and OH forms, in rapid equilibrium were present in a solution of RP. The critical factors for RP to form were the presence of NH4+salt and pH 6.3-6.5. In vitro experiments showed that MNA was synthesized from RP as a result of chemical transformations without the participation of enzymes. In this case, the main influence on the reaction rate is exerted by the pH of the medium, which is associated with the keto-enol tautomerism of RP in solution. The culture broth extract and MNA exhibited antifungal activity against Fusarium fungi.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7122-7129
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • antifungal activity
  • Aspergillus cavernicola
  • azaphilone compounds
  • cis-cavernamine
  • fermentation conditions
  • monasnicotinic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry (all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)


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