Eicosane: An antifungal compound derived from Streptomyces sp. KF15 exhibits inhibitory potential against major phytopathogenic fungi of crops

Environ Res. 2024 Jun 15;251(Pt 1):118666. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2024.118666. Epub 2024 Mar 8.


In the present scenario, food security is of major concern due to exponentially increasing population and depleted crop production. The fungal diseases have contributed majorly to the scarcity of staple food products and economic loss worldwide. This problem could be tackled by preventing the crop loss during both pre and post-harvest seasons. During the current investigation, the bioactive compound eicosane was extracted from Streptomyces sp. KF15, subjected to purification and identified based on mass spectrometry and NMR analysis. The evaluation of in-vitro antifungal activity was done by poisoned food method, SEM analysis and growth pattern analysis. The bioactive compound eicosane with molecular weight of 282.5475 g/mol was purified by column chromatography and the straight chain hydrocarbon structure of CH3CH2(18)CH3 was elucidated by NMR analysis. In poisoned food assay, eicosane effectively inhibited the radial growth of all tested fungal pathogens; F. oxysporum was found to be the most sensitive with 24.2%, 33.3%, 42.4%, and 63.6% inhibition at 25-100 μg/ml concentrations. The SEM micrograph established clear differences in the morphology of eicosane treated fungi with damaged hyphae, flaccid mycelium and collapsed spores as compared to the tubular, turgid and entire fungi in control sample. Finally, the growth curve assay depicted the right side shift in the pattern of eicosane treated fungi indicating the delay in adapting to the conditions of growth and multiplication. The findings of this study encourage further research and development towards the novel antifungal drugs that can act against major phytopathogens.

Keywords: Antifungal activity; Eicosane; Nuclear magnetic resonance; Poisoned food method; Streptomyces sp. KF15; Turbidimetry.

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents* / chemistry
  • Antifungal Agents* / pharmacology
  • Crops, Agricultural / microbiology
  • Fungi / drug effects
  • Fungicides, Industrial / pharmacology
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Plant Diseases / prevention & control
  • Streptomyces* / chemistry


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Fungicides, Industrial