Ana Bendejacq-Seychelles

Phytotoxic fungal secondary metabolites as herbicides

Abstract : Among the alternatives to synthetic plant protection products, biocontrol appears as a promising method. This review reports on the diversity of fungal secondary metabolites phytotoxic to weeds and on the approach generally used to extract, characterize, identify and exploit them for weed management. The 183 phytotoxic fungal secondary metabolites discussed in this review fall into five main classes of molecules: 61 polyketides, 53 terpenoids, 36 nitrogenous metabolites, 18 phenols and phenolic acids, and 15 miscellaneous. They are mainly produced by the genera Drechslera, Fusarium and Alternaria. The phytotoxic effects, more often described by the symptoms they produce on plants than by their mode of action, range from inhibition of germination to inhibition of root and vegetative growth, including tissue and organ alterations. The biochemical characterization of fungal secondary metabolites requires expertise and tools to carry out fungal cultivation and metabolite extraction, phytotoxicity tests, purification and fractionation of the extracts, and chemical identification procedures. Phytotoxicity tests are mainly carried out under controlled laboratory conditions (not always on whole plants), while effectiveness against targeted weeds and environmental impacts must be assessed in greenhouses and open fields. These steps are necessary for the formulation of effective, environment-friendly fungal secondary metabolites-derived bioherbicides using new technologies such as nanomaterials.

Ana Bendejacq-Seychelles, Stéphanie Gibot-Leclerc, Jean-Philippe Guillemin, Gregory Mouille, Christian Steinberg. Phytotoxic fungal secondary metabolites as herbicides. Pest Management Science, 2023, ⟨10.1002/ps.7813⟩. Pest Management Science, 2023, ⟨10.1002/ps.7813