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J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2006 Jul;33(7):514-22. Epub 2006 Feb 21.

Muscodor albus and its biological promise.

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Department of Plant Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT 59717, USA.


We have found a novel fungal genus that produces extremely bioactive volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This fungal isolate was initially discovered as an endophyte in Cinnamomum zeylanicum in a botanical garden in Honduras. This endophytic fungus, Muscodor albus, produces a mixture of VOCs that are lethal to a wide variety of plant and human pathogenic fungi and bacteria. It is also effective against nematodes and certain insects. The mixture of VOCs has been analyzed using GC/MS and consists primarily of various alcohols, acids, esters, ketones, and lipids. Final verification of the identity of the VOCs was carried out by using artificial mixtures of the putatively identified compounds and showing that the artificial mixture possessed the identical retention times and mass spectral qualities as those of the fungal derived substances. Artificial mixtures of the VOCs nicely mimicked the biological effects of the fungal VOCs when tested against a wide range of fungal and bacterial pathogens. Potential applications for "mycofumigation" by M. albus are currently being investigated and include uses for treating various plant parts, and human wastes. Another promising option includes its use to replace methyl bromide fumigation as a means to control soil-borne plant diseases.

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