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Inhibition of fungi by filipin and its antagonism by sterols

Inhibition of fungi by filipin and its antagonism by sterols

PHYTOPATHOLOGY 50(8 Pt 1): 594-603

Filipin prevents spore germination of Aspergillus flavus and other fungi as well as inhibiting their growth. At low concentrations, the antibiotic causes the formation by A. flavus of short-celled, branched, germ tubes. In the presence of the antibiotic, swellings appear on the mycelial filaments and subsequently burst with loss of protoplasm. Yeasts tend to produce mycelial growth in sublethal concentration of the antibiotic; higher levels appear to cause granulation of protoplasm, irregular cell walls, and clumping of the cells. Seventy-seven fungi representing 46 genera and 60 species were inhibited by the antibiotic. The addition of cholesterol to the medium prevented the antifungal effect of filipin on 31 organisms, but not all polyenic fungicides are thus affected. Active sterols often had a long chain on the phenanthrene nucleus; steroids were inactive except for androstanol-3[beta]-one-17. Various modifications of the cholesterol molecule allow the antagonistic effect on growth inhibition of Saccharomyces cereviseae by filipin, but others prevent this activity. Adding the antibiotic at the time of inoculation of the medium lengthens the lag phase of growth. No correlation exists between the sterol content of a fungus and its sensitivity to the antibiotic. Similarly, prior growth on cholesterol-containing medium does not change the sensitivity of S. cereviseae to the antibiotic. The yeast does not readily acquire resistance to the antibiotic in shake culture. Cysteine and reduced glutathione will also prevent the antibiotic action of filipin.

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