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J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Oct 28;57(20):9607-12. doi: 10.1021/jf902067k.

Antioomycete activity of gamma-oxocrotonate fatty acids against P. infestans.

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  • 1Department of Bioorganic Chemistry, Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Weinberg 3, D-06120 Halle (Saale), Germany.


Infections with Phytophthora infestans, the causal agent of potato and tomato late blight disease, are difficult to control and can lead to considerable agricultural losses. Thus, the development of new effective agents against the pathogen is of great interest. In previous work, (E)-4-oxohexadec-2-enoic acid (3) was isolated from Hygrophorus eburneus, which exhibited fungicidal activity against Cladosporium cucumerinum. Here, the inhibitory effect of 3 on P. infestans spore germination and mycelium growth in vitro is demonstrated. The in vivo effect on infections of whole potato plants was investigated by spraying plants with the sodium salt of 3, sodium (2E)-4-oxohexadec-2-enoic acid (4), prior to P. infestans inoculation. Additionally, the influence of 3 on mycelium growth of Colletotrichum coccodes, the causal agent of potato black dot disease, was analyzed. In all approaches, a significant inhibition of pathogen development was achieved. Importantly, the unsaturated fatty acid exerted no toxic effect when sprayed on plants, a prerequisite for its commercial use.

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