Biphasic effects of geranylgeraniol, teprenone, and phytol on the growth of Staphylococcus aureus

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2005 May;49(5):1770-4. doi: 10.1128/AAC.49.5.1770-1774.2005.


We examined the antibacterial activities against Staphylococcus aureus of three diterpenes, namely, geranylgeraniol, teprenone, and phytol, by using a broth dilution with shaking method to identify the effects of diterpenes with long aliphatic carbon chains. We also performed time-kill assays and measured the leakage of K(+) ions from bacterial cells in response to these diterpenes. The diterpenes used inhibited the growth of S. aureus at concentrations of 0.15 microg/ml, as determined by damage to the cell membranes, and had clear bactericidal activity. However, the inhibitory effects of the diterpenes decreased when the concentration of each was raised above a certain level. The diterpenes tested in this study appeared to have both growth-inhibitory and growth-accelerating effects, and the net effect of each depended on its concentration.

MeSH terms

  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Culture Media
  • Diterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Phytol / pharmacology*
  • Potassium / pharmacology
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Culture Media
  • Diterpenes
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Phytol
  • geranylgeraniol
  • Potassium
  • geranylgeranylacetone