Cordycepin is an anticancer metabolite produces by a zombie fungus species of . They are capable to infect and hijack insect’s nervous neuron system. Hypoxic environment commonly must be faced by the pathogenic fungus during infection either this zombie fungus. They activate oxygen sensing mode, heme, siderophore, and sterol biosynthesis to overcome it. Underlined our previous study that liquid surfaced culture of NBRC103752 produced a higher amount of cordycepin than submerged culture, suggesting that hypoxic conditions might induce it. However, when and how the mechanism of cordycepin production started in liquid surfaced culture is not understood, yet. In our present study, the combination of transcriptomics and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry were carried out during the production phases of cordycepin (5d, 12d, and 19d of incubation periods) and the mechanism of cordycepin production was figured out. The expression of genes in the fermentation pathway and the oxidative phosphorylation pathway were significantly upregulated and down regulated, respectively. Expression of four genes in the heme biosynthesis, including 5-aminolevulinic acid synthase (CCM_01504), delta-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (CCM_00935), coproporphyrinogen III oxidase (CCM_07483) and cytochrome c oxidase15 (CCM_05057) were upregulated at the beginning of the exponential phase (12d). Further, the activation of Zn(2)-C6 transcription factor that regulates the iron acquisition and ergosterol biosynthesis significantly upregulated and a metabolite reporter adenosine was detected only at 12d. The results in the present study show the correlation between hypoxia and the accumulation of heme before cordycepin biosynthesis.

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