Radicinin from Cochliobolus sp. inhibits Xylella fastidiosa, the causal agent of Pierce’s Disease of grapevine

Document Type



Harvey Mudd College, Chemistry (HMC)

Publication Date

Spring 4-16-2015


The fastidious phytopathogenic bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa, poses a substantial threat to many economically important crops, causing devastating diseases including Pierce’s Disease of grapevine. Grapevines (Vitis vinifera L.) planted in an area under Pierce’s Disease pressure often display differences in disease severity and symptom expression, with apparently healthy vines growing alongside the dying ones, despite the fact that all the vines are genetic clones of one another. Under the hypothesis that endophytic microbes might be responsible for this non-genetic resistance to X. fastidiosa, endophytic fungi were isolated from vineyard cvs. ‘Chardonnay’ and ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ grown under high Pierce’s Disease pressure. A Cochliobolus sp. isolated from a Cabernet Sauvignon grapevine inhibited the growth of X. fastidiosa in vitro. Bioassay-guided isolation of an organic extract of Cochliobolus sp. yielded the natural product radicinin as the major active compound. Radicinin also inhibited proteases isolated from the culture supernatant of X. fastidiosa. In order to assess structure–activity relationships, three semi-synthetic derivatives of radicinin were prepared and tested for activity against X. fastidiosa in vitro. Assay results of these derivatives are consistent with enzyme inactivation by conjugate addition to carbon-10 of radicinin, as proposed previously.

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