Allelochemical effects of volatile compounds and organic extracts from Muscodor yucatanensis, a tropical endophytic fungus from Bursera simaruba

J Chem Ecol. 2010 Oct;36(10):1122-31. doi: 10.1007/s10886-010-9848-5. Epub 2010 Aug 31.


Muscodor yucatanensis, an endophytic fungus, was isolated from the leaves of Bursera simaruba (Burseraceae) in a dry, semideciduous tropical forest in the Ecological Reserve El Eden, Quintana Roo, Mexico. We tested the mixture of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by M. yucatanensis for allelochemical effects against other endophytic fungi, phytopathogenic fungi and fungoids, and plants. VOCs were lethal to Guignardia mangifera, Colletotrichum sp., Phomopsis sp., Alternaria solani, Rhizoctonia sp., Phytophthora capsici, and P. parasitica, but had no effect on Fusarium oxysporum, Xylaria sp., the endophytic isolate 120, or M. yucatanensis. VOCs inhibited root elongation in amaranth, tomato, and barnyard grass, particularly those produced during the first 15 days of fungal growth. VOCs were identified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and included compounds not previously reported from other Muscodor species and the previously reported compounds octane, 2-methyl butyl acetate, 2-pentyl furan, caryophyllene, and aromadendrene. We also evaluated organic extracts from the culture medium and mycelium of M. yucatanensis on the same endophytes, phytopathogens, and plants. In general, extracts inhibited plants more than endophytic or phytopathogens fungi. G. mangifera was the only organism that was significantly stimulated by both extracts regardless of concentration. Compounds in both organic extracts were identified by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. We discuss the possible allelopathic role that metabolites of M. yucatanensis play in its ecological interactions with its host plant and other organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bursera / chemistry*
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / metabolism
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Mexico
  • Pheromones / classification
  • Pheromones / isolation & purification
  • Pheromones / pharmacology*
  • Plant Roots / drug effects*
  • Plant Roots / growth & development
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / classification
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / isolation & purification
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Xylariales / chemistry*


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Pheromones
  • Volatile Organic Compounds