Do Epichloë Endophytes and Their Grass Symbiosis only Produce Toxic Alkaloids to Insects and Livestock?

Qiu Yan Song, Fan Li, Zhi Biao Nan, Jeffrey A. Coulter, Wen Jun Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Epichloë endophytes in forage grasses have attracted widespread attention and interest of chemistry researchers as a result of the various unique chemical structures and interesting biological activities of their secondary metabolites. This review describes the diversity of unique chemical structures of taxa from Epichloë endophytes and grass infected with Epichloë endophytes and demonstrates their reported biological activities. Until now, nearly 160 secondary metabolites (alkaloids, peptides, indole derivatives, pyrimidines, sesquiterpenoids, flavonoids, phenol and phenolic acid derivatives, aliphatic metabolites, sterols, amines and amides, and others) have been reported from Epichloë endophytes and grass infected with Epichloë endophytes. Among these, non-alkaloids account for half of the population of total metabolites, indicating that they also play an important role in Epichloë endophytes and grass infected with Epichloë endophytes. Also, a diverse array of secondary metabolites isolated from Epichloë endophytes and symbionts is a rich source for developing new pesticides and drugs. Bioassays disclose that, in addition to toxic alkaloids, the other metabolites isolated from Epichloë endophytes and symbionts have notable biological activities, such as antifungal, anti-insect, and phytotoxic activities. Accordingly, the biological functions of non-alkaloids should not be neglected in the future investigation of Epichloë endophytes and symbionts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1169-1185
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Volume68
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 5 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported financially by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31901388), the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Herbal Medicine in Gansu Province (18JR4RA003), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (lzujbky-2018-2), and a grant from State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems (Lanzhou University).

Keywords

  • Epichloë
  • bioactivity
  • chemistry
  • metabolites
  • symbiont

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review

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