Metabolites of the fungus Fusarium solani (Sud 96) inhibited Striga hermonthica germination induced by the germination stimulant GR24. The active principles were identified as trichothecenes acuminatin, neosolaniol, 8-acetylneosolaniol, and tetraacetoxy T-2 tetraol (neosolaniol diacetate) on the basis of their chromatographic behavior and nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectra. Inhibitory activity of the four trichothecenes against Striga germination increased with acetylation of the hydroxyl moieties. The most abundant inhibitor produced by the fungus, 8-acetylneosolaniol, completely inhibited Striga germination at 24 μM. The fungal toxin did not affect the germination of sorghum, a host crop, but retarded root and shoot elongation of the seedlings by 60 and 30%, respectively, at the same concentration.
Nomenclature: Fusarium solani (Mart.) Sacc.; sorghum, Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench; Striga hermonthica (Del.) Benth.