AAL-toxins and fumonisin B1 are phytotoxic to susceptible plants by inhibiting the enzyme ceramide synthase. Australifungin, which is structurally unrelated to these toxins, inhibits the same enzyme in the sphingolipid biosynthesis pathway of animals. In duckweed (Lemna pausicostata) cultures, 5 μM australifungin caused accumulation of the sphingolipid precursors, phytospingosine and sphinganine, although less so than AAL-toxin T(A) or FB1 at 1 μM. Phytosphingosine and sphinganine began to accumulate after 12 h, followed by increased electrolyte leakage at 24 h. Electrolyte leakage with 5 μM australifungin was somewhat less than 1 μM fumonisin B1 or AAL-toxin T(A). Morphological effects were not identical; fumonisin B1 and AAL-toxin T(A) mainly caused bleaching, while australifungin caused clumping of duckweed fronds. Our study shows that australifungin inhibits sphingolipid synthesis in plants, but is about eight times less potent than AAL-toxin T(A) or fumonisin B1.
- Austra lifunginol
- Lemna pausicostata