Culture medium from an isolate of the fungus Aspergillus candidus was extracted, fractionated and examined to discover compounds antagonistic to plant-parasitic nematodes that are important pathogens of agricultural crops. Column, thin layer and preparative chromatographies and spectral and elemental analyses, were used to isolate and identify two major constituents of an active fraction (Fraction F) obtained from the medium. Compound 1 was identified as 2-hydroxypropane-1, 2, 3-tricarboxylic acid (citric acid). Compound 2 was identified as 3-hydroxy-5-methoxy-3-(methoxycarbonyl)-5-oxopentanoic acid, an isomer of 1, 2-dimethyl citrate. Compound 1 and a citric acid standard, each tested at 50 mg mL –1 in water, decreased hatch from eggs of the plant-parasitic nematode Meloidogyne incognita by more than 94%, and completely immobilized second-stage juveniles after 4–6 days exposure. Fraction F and Compounds 1 and 2 decreased the mobility of adults of the plant-parasitic nematode Ditylenchus destructor in vitro . Fraction F (25 mg mL –1 ) inhibited mobility 〉99% at 72 hrs. Compounds 1 and 2 (50 mg mL –1 ) each inhibited mobility more than 25% at 24 hr and more than 50% at 72 hr. This is the first assignment of nematode-antagonistic properties to specifically identified A. candidus metabolites.
Pathogens & Pathogenicity