An endophytic/pathogenic Phoma sp. from creosote bush producing biologically active volatile compounds having fuel potential


A Phoma sp. was isolated and characterized as endophytic and as a pathogen of Larrea tridentata (creosote bush) growing in the desert region of southern Utah, USA. This fungus produces a unique mixture of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including a series of sesquiterpenoids, some alcohols and several reduced naphthalene derivatives. Trans-caryophyllene, a product in the fungal VOCs, was also noted in the VOCs of this pungent plant. The gases of Phoma sp. possess antifungal properties and is markedly similar to that of a methanolic extract of the host plant. Some of the test organisms with the greatest sensitivity to the Phoma sp. VOCs were Verticillium, Ceratocystis, Cercospora and Sclerotinia while those being the least sensitive were Trichoderma, Colletotrichum and Aspergillus. We discuss the possible involvement of VOC production by the fungus and its role in the biology/ecology of the fungus/plant/environmental relationship with implications for utilization as an energy source.




Strobel, G.A., Singh, S.K., Riyaz-Ul- Hassan, R., Mitchell, A., Geary, B., and Sears. 2011. An Endophytic/Pathogenic Phoma sp. from Creosote Bush Producing Biologically Active Volatile Compounds Having Fuel Potential. FEMS Microbiology letters 320: 87-94.
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