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Phytotoxic activity against Bromus tectorum for secondary metabolites of a seed-pathogenic Fusarium strain belonging to the F. tricinctum species complex

Masi, Marco, Meyer, Susan, Pescitelli, Gennaro, Cimmino, Alessio, Clement, Suzette, Peacock, Beth, Evidente, Antonio
Natural product research 2017 v.31 no.23 pp. 2768-2777
Bromus tectorum, Fusarium tricinctum, bioassays, coleoptiles, ecosystems, ergosterol, fungi, grasses, hydroxybenzaldehyde, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, pathogens, phytotoxicity, phytotoxins, secondary metabolites, seedlings, seeds, soil, winter, North America
The winter annual grass Bromus tectorum (cheatgrass) has become highly invasive in semiarid ecosystems of western North America. In these areas, a natural phenomenon, complete cheatgrass stand failure (‘die-off’), is apparently caused by a complex interaction among soilborne fungal pathogens. Several Fusarium strains belonging to the Fusarium tricinctum species complex were isolated from these soils and found to be pathogenic on B. tectorum seeds. One of these strains was produced in cheatgrass seed culture to evaluate its ability to produce phytotoxins. Six metabolites were isolated and identified by spectroscopic methods (essentially 1D and 2D NMR and ESIMS) as acuminatopyrone (1), blumenol A (2), chlamydosporol (3), isochlamydosporol (4), ergosterol (5) and 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde (6). Upon testing against B. tectorum in a seedling bioassay, (6) the coleoptile and radicle length of cheatgrass seedlings were significantly reduced. Compounds 1 and 2 showed moderate activity, while 3 – 5 were not significantly different from the control.