Special Issue "Phytotoxic Fungal Metabolites"

A special issue of Agriculture (ISSN 2077-0472).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2015).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Anna Andolfi
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Guest Editor
Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Complesso Universitario Monte S. Angelo Via Cintia 4, I-80126 Naples, Italy
Interests: isolation and structure elucidation of bioactive natural compounds from microorganisms and plants; chromatographic techniques; chemical derivatization; analytical and spectroscopic techniques
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years the scientific community has focused attention on the development of new pesticides of natural origin, which may be highly effective, scarcely toxic, and with low environmental impacts. The necessity of obtaining new substances of biological and applicative interest from natural biological systems stems from the awareness of the many risks emerging, worldwide, for human health. Also, the development of eco-friendly techniques is being evaluated in sustainable agriculture.

For these purposes, phytopathogenic fungi and endophytes are a good source of bioactive natural compounds. In fact, the structures and stereostructures of a wide variety of phytotoxins have been determined. Also, the role of secondary metabolites, produced by fungi in different steps of the plant-microbe interaction, is well established. Moreover, the modes of action of some of these metabolites are well documented. These metabolites can be used in plant disease control in breeding programs, for the early diagnoses of diseases, and with other techniques for the classification of pathogenic species. The substances can also make good fungicides, antimicrobials, herbicides, and insecticides for pest control. In view of these phytotoxins’ practical applications, in recent years, there has been an increase in the number of studies focusing on their pharmacological activities, the correlations between chemical structures and activities, on the development of analytical methods, and on their enviromental impacts. Moreover, the structures of natural compounds have been used as models for syntheses of parent compounds, or their analogs, with improved activities.

Anna Andolfi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • phytopathogenic fungi
  • endophytes
  • bioactive natural compounds
  • chemical and biological characterizations
  • natural pesticides
  • structure-activity relationship studies
  • synthesis
  • biosynthesis
  • analytical methods
  • stereochemistry

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Aflatoxin Accumulation in a Maize Diallel Cross
Agriculture 2015, 5(2), 344-352; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5020344 - 17 Jun 2015
Cited by 3
Abstract
Aflatoxins, produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, occur naturally in maize. Contamination of maize grain with aflatoxin is a major food and feed safety problem and greatly reduces the value of the grain. Plant resistance is generally considered a highly desirable approach [...] Read more.
Aflatoxins, produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus, occur naturally in maize. Contamination of maize grain with aflatoxin is a major food and feed safety problem and greatly reduces the value of the grain. Plant resistance is generally considered a highly desirable approach to reduction or elimination of aflatoxin in maize grain. In this investigation, a diallel cross was produced by crossing 10 inbred lines with varying degrees of resistance to aflatoxin accumulation in all possible combinations. Three lines that previously developed and released as sources of resistance to aflatoxin accumulation were included as parents. The 10 parental inbred lines and the 45 single crosses making up the diallel cross were evaluated for aflatoxin accumulation in field tests conducted in 2013 and 2014. Plants were inoculated with an A. flavus spore suspension seven days after silk emergence. Ears were harvested approximately 60 days later and concentration of aflatoxin in the grain determined. Parental inbred lines Mp717, Mp313E, and Mp719 exhibited low levels (3–12 ng/g) of aflatoxin accumulation. In the diallel analysis, both general and specific combining ability were significant sources of variation in the inheritance of resistance to aflatoxin accumulation. General combining ability effects for reduced aflatoxin accumulation were greatest for Mp494, Mp719, and Mp717. These lines should be especially useful in breeding for resistance to aflatoxin accumulation. Breeding strategies, such as reciprocal recurrent selection, would be appropriate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytotoxic Fungal Metabolites)

Review

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Open AccessReview
Plant Bioactive Metabolites and Drugs Produced by Endophytic Fungi of Spermatophyta
Agriculture 2015, 5(4), 918-970; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5040918 - 29 Sep 2015
Cited by 28
Abstract
It is known that plant-based ethnomedicine represented the foundation of modern pharmacology and that many pharmaceuticals are derived from compounds occurring in plant extracts. This track still stimulates a worldwide investigational activity aimed at identifying novel bioactive products of plant origin. However, the [...] Read more.
It is known that plant-based ethnomedicine represented the foundation of modern pharmacology and that many pharmaceuticals are derived from compounds occurring in plant extracts. This track still stimulates a worldwide investigational activity aimed at identifying novel bioactive products of plant origin. However, the discovery that endophytic fungi are able to produce many plant-derived drugs has disclosed new horizons for their availability and production on a large scale by the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, following the path traced by the blockbuster drug taxol, an increasing number of valuable compounds originally characterized as secondary metabolites of plant species belonging to the Spermatophyta have been reported as fermentation products of endophytic fungal strains. Aspects concerning sources and bioactive properties of these compounds are reviewed in this paper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytotoxic Fungal Metabolites)
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Open AccessReview
Mycotoxins: Producing Fungi and Mechanisms of Phytotoxicity
Agriculture 2015, 5(3), 492-537; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture5030492 - 23 Jul 2015
Cited by 62
Abstract
Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites, toxic to humans, animals and plants. Among the hundreds of known mycotoxins, aflatoxins, citrinin, patulin, penicillic acid, tenuazonic acid, ochratoxin A, cytochalasins, deoxynivalenol, fumonisins, fusarin C, fusaric acid, and zearalenone are considered the types that most contaminate cereal [...] Read more.
Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites, toxic to humans, animals and plants. Among the hundreds of known mycotoxins, aflatoxins, citrinin, patulin, penicillic acid, tenuazonic acid, ochratoxin A, cytochalasins, deoxynivalenol, fumonisins, fusarin C, fusaric acid, and zearalenone are considered the types that most contaminate cereal grain. The majority of the mycotoxins in these groups are produced by three fungal genera: Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium. These metabolites primarily affect the seed quality, germination, viability, seedling vigour, growth of root and cleoptile. Additionally, since the fungi responsible for the production of these mycotoxins are often endophytes that infect and colonize living plant tissues, accumulation of mycotoxins in the plant tissues may at times be associated with development of plant disease symptoms. The presence of mycotoxins, even in the absence of disease symptoms, may still have subtle biological effects on the physiology of plants. Several studies highlight the toxic effects of mycotoxins on animals and cell lines but little is known about the mode of action of most of these metabolites on plant cells. The most important mycotoxins with phytotoxic effects and their producers in addition to their discovery are briefly outlined below and will be addressed in this article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytotoxic Fungal Metabolites)
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