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J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Feb 21;55(4):1385-8. Epub 2007 Jan 23.

Nitrification Inhibitors from the root tissues of Brachiaria humidicola, a tropical grass.

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Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), 1-1 Ohwashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8686, Japan.


Nitrification inhibitory activity was found in root tissue extracts of Brachiaria humidicola, a tropical pasture grass. Two active inhibitory compounds were isolated by activity-guided fractionation, using recombinant Nitrosomonas europaea containing luxAB genes derived from the bioluminescent marine gram-negative bacterium Vibrio harveyi. The compounds were identified as methyl-p-coumarate and methyl ferulate, respectively. Their nitrification inhibitory properties were confirmed in chemically synthesized preparations of each. The IC50 values of chemically synthesized preparations were 19.5 and 4.4 microM, respectively. The ethyl, propyl, and butyl esters of p-coumaric and ferulic acids inhibited nitrification, whereas the free acid forms did not show inhibitory activity.

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