Chloromonilinic Acids C and D, Phytotoxic Tetrasubstituted 3-Chromanonacrylic Acids Isolated from Cochliobolus australiensis with Potential Herbicidal Activity against Buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris)

Marco Masi, Susan Meyer, Suzette Clement, Gennaro Pescitelli, Alessio Cimmino, Massimo Cristofaro, Antonio Evidente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)


The fungal pathogen Cochliobolus australiensis isolated from infected leaves of the invasive weed buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) was grown in vitro to evaluate its ability to produce phytotoxic metabolites that could potentially be used as natural herbicides against this weed. Two new tetrasubstituted 3-chromanonacrylic acids, named chloromonilinic acids C (1) and D (2), were isolated from the liquid cultures of C. australiensis, together with the known chloromonilinic acid B. Chloromonilinic acids C and D were characterized by spectroscopic and chemical methods as (E)-3-chloro-3-[(5-hydroxy-3-(1-hydroxy-2-methoxy-2-oxoethyl)-7-methyl-4-oxo-4H-chromen-2-yl)]acrylic acid and (Z)-3-chloro-3-[(5-hydroxy-3-(2-methoxy-2-oxoethyl)-7-methyl-4-oxo-4H-chromen-2-yl)]acrylic acid, respectively. The stereochemistry of chloromonilinic acids C and D was determined using a combination of spectroscopic and computational methods, including electronic circular dichroism. The fungus produced these compounds in two different liquid media together with cochliotoxin, radicinin, radicinol, and their 3-epimers. The radicinin-related compounds were also produced when the fungus was grown in wheat seed solid culture, but chloromonilinic acids were not found in the solid culture organic extract. All three chloromonilinic acids were toxic to buffelgrass in a seedling elongation bioassay, with significantly delayed germination and dramatically reduced radicle growth, especially at a concentration of 5 × 10-3M.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2771 - 2777
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Natural Products
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this