Next Article in Journal
Asteltoxins with Antiviral Activities from the Marine Sponge-Derived Fungus Aspergillus sp. SCSIO XWS02F40
Next Article in Special Issue
Strong and Nonspecific Synergistic Antibacterial Efficiency of Antibiotics Combined with Silver Nanoparticles at Very Low Concentrations Showing No Cytotoxic Effect
Previous Article in Journal
Mechanism of NO Photocatalytic Oxidation on g-C3N4 Was Changed by Pd-QDs Modification
Previous Article in Special Issue
A Nanostructured Lipid System as a Strategy to Improve the in Vitro Antibacterial Activity of Copper(II) Complexes
Article Menu
Issue 1 (January) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Molecules 2016, 21(1), 29;

Mini Review of Phytochemicals and Plant Taxa with Activity as Microbial Biofilm and Quorum Sensing Inhibitors

Phytochemistry Laboratory, Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peter J. Rutledge
Received: 11 November 2015 / Revised: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 17 December 2015 / Published: 26 December 2015
Full-Text   |   PDF [8352 KB, uploaded 26 December 2015]


Microbial biofilms readily form on many surfaces in nature including plant surfaces. In order to coordinate the formation of these biofilms, microorganisms use a cell-to-cell communication system called quorum sensing (QS). As formation of biofilms on vascular plants may not be advantageous to the hosts, plants have developed inhibitors to interfere with these processes. In this mini review, research papers published on plant-derived molecules that have microbial biofilm or quorum sensing inhibition are reviewed with the objectives of determining the biosynthetic classes of active compounds, their biological activity in assays, and their families of occurrence and range. The main findings are the identification of plant phenolics, including benzoates, phenyl propanoids, stilbenes, flavonoids, gallotannins, proanthocyanidins and coumarins as important inhibitors with both activities. Some terpenes including monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes and triterpenes also have anti-QS and anti-biofilm activities. Relatively few alkaloids were reported. Quinones and organosulfur compounds, especially from garlic, were also active. A common feature is the polar nature of these compounds. Phytochemicals with these activities are widespread in Angiosperms in temperate and tropical regions, but gymnosperms, bryophytes and pteridophytes were not represented. View Full-Text
Keywords: biofilm inhibitors; quorum sensing inhibitors; terpenes; quinones; organosulfur compounds biofilm inhibitors; quorum sensing inhibitors; terpenes; quinones; organosulfur compounds
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ta, C.A.K.; Arnason, J.T. Mini Review of Phytochemicals and Plant Taxa with Activity as Microbial Biofilm and Quorum Sensing Inhibitors. Molecules 2016, 21, 29.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Molecules EISSN 1420-3049 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top