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Cordycepin Isolated from Cordyceps militaris: Its Newly Discovered Herbicidal Property and Potential Plant-Based Novel Alternative to Glyphosate

1
Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima 739-8529, Japan
2
Can Tho University, Can Tho City 902070, Vietnam
3
Faculty of Biotechnology, Nguyen Tat Thanh University, 298A-300A Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, Ward 13, District 4, Ho Chi Minh 72820, Vietnam
4
Agricultural Genetics Institute, Pham Van Dong Street, Hanoi 122000, Vietnam
5
Center for Expert, Vietnam National University of Agriculture, Hanoi 131000, Vietnam
6
Department of Internal Medicine II, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Klinikum Hanau, 63450 Hanau, Germany
7
Academic Teaching Hospital of the Medical Faculty, Goethe University Frankfurt/ Main, D-60590 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martin C. Gruhlke
Molecules 2019, 24(16), 2901; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24162901
Received: 14 July 2019 / Revised: 27 July 2019 / Accepted: 30 July 2019 / Published: 9 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products in Plant Protection)
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Abstract

There is currently much interest in finding new phytochemicals among plants and fungi as nature-based alternatives to replace problematic herbicides such as glyphosate, which are preferentially used in agricultural production. We discovered striking herbicidal potency in Cordyceps militaris (L.) and identified cordycepin as its principal plant growth inhibitor. Cordycepin obtained as an ethyl acetate extract was subjected to column chromatography and evaluated for its bioassay-guided phytotoxic capacity against Raphanus sativus (radish), showing a maximum inhibition on germination and growth of radish (IC50 = 0.052–0.078 mg/mL). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) (m/z: 251.2) and liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) ([M + Na]+ m/z: 274.1; [M + H]+ m/z: 252.1) analyses confirmed cordycepin as the major component of the tested column fraction (55.38%). At 0.04 mg/mL, cordycepin showed 3.8–5.9- and 3.3–3.7-fold greater inhibition of the germination and growth of radish than benzoic acid (BA) and glyphosate, respectively. Compared with BA, isolated cordycepin reduced plant chlorophyll and carotenoid contents (2.0–9.5 -fold), while proline, total phenolic and total flavonoid contents were increased 1.2–1.8-fold. Finally, cordycepin promoted electrolyte leakage and malondialdehyde accumulation in radish aerial parts. Thus, cordycepin successfully isolated from Cordyceps militaris is a highly potent plant growth inhibitor with pending worldwide patent and may become a potential plant-based novel alternative to the disputed glyphosate. View Full-Text
Keywords: Cordyceps militaris; allelopathy; allelochemical; cordycepin; glyphosate; inhibition; germination; growth; Raphanus sativus; plant growth inhibitor; column chromatography Cordyceps militaris; allelopathy; allelochemical; cordycepin; glyphosate; inhibition; germination; growth; Raphanus sativus; plant growth inhibitor; column chromatography
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Quy, T.N.; Xuan, T.D.; Andriana, Y.; Tran, H.-D.; Khanh, T.D.; Teschke, R. Cordycepin Isolated from Cordyceps militaris: Its Newly Discovered Herbicidal Property and Potential Plant-Based Novel Alternative to Glyphosate. Molecules 2019, 24, 2901.

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