We tested extracts of Vincetoxicum rossicum for inhibition of bacterial and fungal growth and for anti-insect activities that may account for the invasive characteristics of this introduced species in North America. Bioassay-guided fractionation was used to identify (-)-antofine as the principle inhibitor of bacteria and fungi in root extracts. This compound had especially pronounced antifungal activity, inhibiting the growth of diverse taxa that include yeast-like and filamentous fungi and, notably, broad-host-range plant pathogens. A second compound(s), that is as yet uncharacterized but distinct from (-)-antofine, was detected as having antifeedant activity against a larval hymenopteran, rose sawfly (Allantus cinctus), and toxicity to two larval lepidopterans, the masked birch caterpillar (Drepana arcuata) and the European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis). That V. rossicum contains potent inhibitors of plant pathogenic fungi, diverse bacteria, and herbivorous insects likely contributes to its success as an invasive species.

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Keywords (-)-Antofine, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Insect antifeedant, Insecticide, Phenanthroindolizidine alkaloids
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bse.2008.01.001
Journal Biochemical Systematics and Ecology
Mogg, C. (Christopher), Petit, P. (Philippe), Cappuccino, N, Durst, T. (Tony), McKague, C. (Curtis), Foster, M. (Miranda), … Smith, M. (2008). Tests of the antibiotic properties of the invasive vine Vincetoxicum rossicum against bacteria, fungi and insects. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 36(5-6), 383–391. doi:10.1016/j.bse.2008.01.001