Isolation and structure elucidation of avocado seed (Persea americana) lipid derivatives that inhibit Clostridium sporogenes endospore germination

J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Jul 31;61(30):7403-11. doi: 10.1021/jf401407s. Epub 2013 Jul 22.


Avocado fruit extracts are known to exhibit antimicrobial properties. However, the effects on bacterial endospores and the identity of antimicrobial compounds have not been fully elucidated. In this study, avocado seed extracts were tested against Clostridium sporogenes vegetative cells and active endospores. Bioassay-guided purification of a crude extract based on inhibitory properties linked antimicrobial action to six lipid derivatives from the family of acetogenin compounds. Two new structures and four compounds known to exist in nature were identified as responsible for the activity. Structurally, most potent molecules shared features of an acetyl moiety and a trans-enone group. All extracts produced inhibition zones on vegetative cells and active endospores. Minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of isolated molecules ranged from 7.8 to 15.6 μg/mL, and bactericidal effects were observed for an enriched fraction at 19.5 μg/mL. Identified molecules showed potential as natural alternatives to additives and antibiotics used by the food and pharmaceutical industries to inhibit Gram-positive spore-forming bacteria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Clostridium / drug effects*
  • Clostridium / growth & development
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Lipids / chemistry*
  • Lipids / isolation & purification
  • Lipids / pharmacology*
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Structure
  • Persea / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Spores, Bacterial / drug effects
  • Spores, Bacterial / growth & development*


  • Lipids
  • Plant Extracts