An update on organohalogen metabolites produced by Basidiomycetes

Jim A. Field, Joannes B.P.A. Wijnberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


Basidiomycetes are an ecologically important group of higher fungi known for their widespread capacity to produce organohalogen metabolites. To date, 100 different organohalogen metabolites (mostly chlorinated) have been identified from strains in 70 genera of Basidiomycetes. This manuscript provides an update of newly discovered chlorinated metabolites described since 1997. Additionally, the biosynthesis, physiological role, environmental fate and significance of Basidiomycete organohalogen metabolites are reviewed. Novel metabolites include chlorinated methoxybenzene azoxyformamide, pterulones (chlorinated1-benzoxepins),chlorinated anisylpropanoids, tri- and tetrachlorinated phenols. Chlorinated p-anisyl metabolites (CAM) are the most ubiquitous and ecologically significant natural organohalogens produced by higher fungi. Evidence is presented indicating their synthesis from phenylalanine via the phenylpropanoid pathway. They are estimated to be produced at a rate of 300 g ha-1 year-1 in European forests inhabited by the common occurring mushroom, Hypholoma fasciculare. Organohalogen metabolites have several purposeful physiological functions ranging from antibiotic properties, metabolites involved in lignin degradation and synthons for biosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Environmental Chemistry
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2003

Publication series

NameHandbook of Environmental Chemistry
ISSN (Print)1867-979X


  • Basidiomycete
  • Biohalogenation
  • Chlorinated metabolites
  • Fungi
  • Halometabolites
  • Organohalogen
  • Secondary metabolites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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