Diversity of exophillic acid derivatives in strains of an endophytic Exophiala sp

Phytochemistry. 2015 Oct:118:83-93. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2015.08.006. Epub 2015 Aug 19.


Members of the fungal genus Exophiala are common saprobes in soil and water environments, opportunistic pathogens of animals, or endophytes in plant roots. Their ecological versatility could imply a capacity to produce diverse secondary metabolites, but only a few studies have aimed at characterizing their chemical profiles. Here, we assessed the secondary metabolites produced by five Exophiala sp. strains of a particular phylotype, isolated from roots of Microthlaspi perfoliatum growing in different European localities. Exophillic acid and two previously undescribed compounds were isolated from these strains, and their structures were elucidated by spectroscopic methods using MS, 1D and 2D NMR. Bioassays revealed a weak activity of these compounds against disease-causing protozoa and mammalian cells. In addition, 18 related structures were identified by UPLC/MS based on comparisons with the isolated structures. Three Exophiala strains produced derivatives containing a β-d-glucopyranoside moiety, and their colony morphology was distinct from the other two strains, which produced derivatives lacking β-d-glucopyranoside. Whether the chemical/morphological strain types represent variants of the same genotype or independent genetic populations within Exophiala remains to be evaluated.

Keywords: Endophytes; Exophiala sp.; Exophillic acid; Fungi; Microthlaspi perfoliatum; Secondary metabolites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Benzoates / chemistry
  • Benzoates / isolation & purification*
  • Endophytes / chemistry*
  • Exophiala / chemistry*
  • Exophiala / genetics
  • Fungi / metabolism
  • Galactosides / chemistry
  • Galactosides / isolation & purification*
  • Molecular Structure
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular
  • Plant Roots / genetics


  • Benzoates
  • Galactosides
  • exophillic acid