Volatile antimicrobials from Muscodor crispans, a novel endophytic fungus


Muscodor crispans is a recently described novel endophytic fungus of Ananas ananassoides (wild pineapple) growing in the Bolivian Amazon Basin. The fungus produces a mixture of volatile organic compounds (VOCs); some of the major components of this mixture, as determined by GC/MS, are propanoic acid, 2-methyl-, methyl ester; propanoic acid, 2-methyl-; 1-butanol, 3-methyl-;1-butanol, 3-methyl-, acetate; propanoic acid, 2-methyl-, 2-methylbutyl ester; and ethanol. The fungus does not, however, produce naphthalene or azulene derivatives as has been observed with many other members of the genus Muscodor. The mixture of VOCs produced by M. crispans cultures possesses antibiotic properties, as does an artificial mixture of a majority of the components. The VOCs of the fungus are effective against a wide range of plant pathogens, including the fungi Pythium ultimum, Phytophthora cinnamomi, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Mycosphaerella fijiensis (the black sigatoka pathogen of bananas), and the serious bacterial pathogen of citrus, Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri. In addition, the VOCs of M. crispans killed several human pathogens, including Yersinia pestis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Staphylococcus aureus. Artificial mixtures of the fungal VOCs were both inhibitory and lethal to a number of human and plant pathogens, including three drug-resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The gaseous products of Muscodor crispans potentially could prove to be beneficial in the fields of medicine, agriculture, and industry.




Mitchell, A.M. Strobel, G.A., Moore, E., Robison, R., and Sears, J. 2010 Volatile antimicrobials from Muscodor crispans. Microbiology 156: 270-277.
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