Phytotoxicity of Australifungin, AAL-toxins and fumonisin B1 to Lemna pausicostata

H. K. Abbas, S. O. Duke, A. H. Merrill, E. Wang, W. T. Shier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


AAL-toxins and fumonisin B1 are phytotoxic to susceptible plants by inhibiting the enzyme ceramide synthase. Australifungin, which is structurally unrelated to these toxins, inhibits the same enzyme in the sphingolipid biosynthesis pathway of animals. In duckweed (Lemna pausicostata) cultures, 5 μM australifungin caused accumulation of the sphingolipid precursors, phytospingosine and sphinganine, although less so than AAL-toxin T(A) or FB1 at 1 μM. Phytosphingosine and sphinganine began to accumulate after 12 h, followed by increased electrolyte leakage at 24 h. Electrolyte leakage with 5 μM australifungin was somewhat less than 1 μM fumonisin B1 or AAL-toxin T(A). Morphological effects were not identical; fumonisin B1 and AAL-toxin T(A) mainly caused bleaching, while australifungin caused clumping of duckweed fronds. Our study shows that australifungin inhibits sphingolipid synthesis in plants, but is about eight times less potent than AAL-toxin T(A) or fumonisin B1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1509-1514
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 1998

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2004 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. All rights reserved.


  • AAL-toxin
  • Austra lifunginol
  • Australifungin
  • Duckweed
  • Fumonisins
  • Lemna pausicostata
  • Lemnaceae
  • Phytotoxins
  • Phytoxicity
  • Sphingolipids


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