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Alkaloid production by isolates of the sorghum ergot pathogen (Claviceps africana) from Australia and other countries

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Blaney, B., Chakraborty, S. and Murray, S.A. (2006) Alkaloid production by isolates of the sorghum ergot pathogen (Claviceps africana) from Australia and other countries. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 57 (9). pp. 1023-1028.


Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AR05334

Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au


Isolates of Claviceps africana from Australia, Africa, Asia, and America were tested for the production of dihydroergosine (DHES), and its biogenic precursors dihydroelymoclavine (DHEL) and festuclavine (FEST), in culture. Several growth media were evaluated to optimise alkaloid production with little success. The best of these involved 2-stage culturing on high-sucrose substrate. Australian C. africana isolates varied widely and inconsistently in alkaloid production, with DHES concentrations in mycelium ranging from: <0.1 to 9 mg DHES/kg; <0.1 to 1.6 mg DHEL/kg; and <0.1 to 0.4 mg FEST/kg. In a separate experiment using similar culturing techniques, DHES was produced by 2 of 3 Australian isolates, 1 of 3 USA isolates, 1 of 4 Indian isolates, the sole Puerto Rican isolate, the sole Japanese isolate, but not the sole South African isolate. In this experiment, DHES concentrations detected in mycelium of Australian isolates (0.1-1.0 mg DHES/kg) were of similar magnitude to isolates from other countries (0.2-1.8 mg DHES/kg). Three C. africana isolates, including one that produced only traces of alkaloid in culture after 8 weeks, were inoculated onto panicles of sterile male sorghum plants. After 8 weeks, all 3 isolates produced 10-19 mg DHES/kg in the panicles, demonstrating that the growing plant favoured more consistent alkaloid production than culture medium.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Biosecurity Queensland
Additional Information:Reproduced with permission from © CSIRO Publishing. Access to published version may be available via Publisher’s website.
Keywords:Fungus; mycotoxin; sclerotium; sphacelium.
Subjects:Science > Biology > Biochemistry
Science > Botany > Cryptogams
Live Archive:30 Jan 2009 06:04
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:47

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