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Keywords:

  • algicide;
  • allelochemical;
  • allelopathy;
  • cyanobacteria;
  • Fischerella muscicola;
  • photosystem II inhibitor;
  • secondary metabolite

ABSTRACT

The benthic cyanobacterium Fischerella muscicola (Thur.) Gom. UTEX 1829 produces a secondary metabolite, fischerellin, that strongly inhibits other cyanobacteria and to a lesser extent members of the Chlorophyceae. Eubacteria are not affected. The major active compound is lipophilic and exhibits a molecular ion at m/z 408. It is heat- and acid-stable but decomposes in 1 M sodium hydroxide (80° C. 1 h). Fischerellin inhibits the photosynthetic but not the respiratory electron transport of cyanobacteria and chlorophytes. Its site of action is located in PS II. Two other species of Fischerella also produce fischerellin, indicating that the synthesis of such allelochemicals might be characteristic of the genus.