Metabolism and antifungal activity of safrole, dillapiole, and derivatives against Botryodiplodia theobromae and Colletotrichum acutatum

  • Samuel Vizcaíno-Páez
  • Rodrigo Pineda
  • Carlos García
  • Jesús Gil
  • Diego Durango
Palabras clave: Biotransformation, plant pathogenic fungi, safrole, Botryodiplodia theobromae, Colletotrichum acutatum


The direct in vitro fungitoxicity and metabolism of safrole and dillapiole (isolated from Piper auritum and Piper holtonii, respectively) by Botryodiplodia theobromae and Colletotrichum acutatum were investigated. Higher values of mycelial growth inhibition for both fungi were obtained for dillapiole, as compared with safrole. B. theobromae was able to metabolize both compounds to their respective vicinal diols, reaching 65% relative abundance during the biotransformation of dillapiole; while C. acutatum only transformed safrole to various metabolites with relative abundances under 5%. According to the low antifungal activity of the major metabolic products (< 5% for vicinal diols), a detoxification process was implied. Studies on the influence of some substituents in the aromatic ring of safrole and dillapiole on the antifungal activity against B. theobromae were also carried out. As result, the safrole nitrated derivative, 6-nitrosafrole, showed a fungitoxicity level similar to that displayed by the commercial fungicide Carbendazim® under the conditions used. In light of this, safrole and dillapiole could be suggested as feasible structural templates for developing new antifungal agents.


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