Sphingolipids form of a unique and complex group of bioactive lipids in fungi. Structurally, sphingolipids of fungi are quite diverse with unique differences in the sphingoid backbone, amide linked fatty acyl chain and the polar head group. Two of the most studied and conserved sphingolipid classes in fungi are the glucosyl- or galactosyl-ceramides and the phosphorylinositol containing phytoceramides. Comprehensive structural characterization and quantification of these lipids is largely based on advanced analytical mass spectrometry based lipidomic methods. While separation of complex lipid mixtures is achieved through high performance liquid chromatography, the soft - electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry allows a high sensitivity and selectivity of detection. Herein, we present an overview of lipid extraction, chromatographic separation and mass spectrometry employed in qualitative and quantitative sphingolipidomics in fungi.
The article, Sphingolipidomics: An Important Mechanistic Tool for Studying Fungal Pathogens, is published in Frontiers in Microbiology and is free to access.