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Structure of melanins from the fungi Ochroconis lascauxensis and Ochroconis anomala contaminating rock art in the Lascaux Cave.

ABSTRACT: Two novel species of the fungal genus Ochroconis, O. lascauxensis and O. anomala have been isolated from the walls of the Lascaux Cave, France. The interest in these fungi and their melanins lies in the formation of black stains on the walls and rock art which threatens the integrity of the paintings. Here we report solid-state cross polarization magic-angle spinning 13C and 15N nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) of the melanins extracted from the mycelia of O. lascauxensis and O. anomala in order to known their chemical structure. The melanins from these two species were compared with those from other fungi. The melanins from the Ochroconis species have similar SERS and 13C and 15N NMR spectra. Their chemical structures as suggested by the data are not related to 3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine, 5,6-dihydroxyindole or 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene precursors and likely the building blocks from the melanins have to be based on other phenols that react with the N-terminal amino acid of proteins. The analytical pyrolysis of the acid hydrolysed melanin from O. lascauxensis supports this assumption.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5647350 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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