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J Chem Ecol. 2003 Dec;29(12):2761-76.

Allelochemical potential of Callicarpa acuminata.

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Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, 04510 México, D.F., Mexico.


The allelochemical potential of Callicarpa acuminata (Verbenaceae) was investigated by using a biodirected fractionation study as part of a long-term project to search for bioactive compounds among the rich biodiversity of plant communities in the Ecological Reserve El Eden, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Aqueous leachate, chloroform-methanol extract, and chromatographic fractions of the leaves of C. acuminata inhibited the root growth of test plants (23-70%). Some of these treatments caused a moderate inhibition of the radial growth of two phytopathogenic fungi, Helminthosporium longirostratum and Alternaria solani (18-31%). The chloroform-methanol (1:1) extract prepared from the leaves rendered five compounds: isopimaric acid (1), a mixture of two diterpenols [sandaracopimaradien-19-ol (3) and akhdarenol (4)], alpha-amyrin (5), and the flavone salvigenin (6)]. The phytotoxicity exhibited by several fractions and the full extract almost disappeared when pure compounds were evaluated on the test plants, suggesting a synergistic or additive effect. Compounds (4), (5), and the semisynthetic derivative isopimaric acid methyl ether (2) had antifeedant effects on Leptinotarsa decemlineata. Compound 5 was most toxic to this insect, followed by (2), (4), and (6) with moderate to low toxicity. No correlation was found between antifeedant and toxic effects on this insect, suggesting that different modes of action were involved. All the test compounds were cytotoxic to insect Sf9 cells while (6), (4), and (1) also affected mammalian Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells. Compound 5 showed the strongest selectivity against insect cells. This study contributes to the knowledge of the defensive chemistry and added value of C. acuminata.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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