Submitted to: Journal of Natural Products
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/16/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: There is an urgent need for new sources of insecticides and leads to insecticides (i.e., new chemotypes) because many insects are developing resistance to existing products, and there are few environmentally tolerable replacements. Survival structures called sclerotia, produced by the fungus Penicillium sclerotigenum, were examined for their ability to produce antiinsectan agents and other bioactive metabolites. Here we report a new antiinsectan benzodiazepine that we named sclerotigenin. This compound caused a 42% reduction in growth of corn earworm larvae when incorporated into a standard test diet. This research is of use to other scientists interested in novel pesticides from unique sources. Our research program has shown that fungal sclerotia commonly contain unique chemicals which are toxic to insects or show other forms of bioactivity relevant to agriculture and medicine.
Technical Abstract: A new benzodiazepine, sclerotigenin (1), was isolated from organic extracts of the sclerotia of Penicillium sclerotigenum, (NRRL 3461) along with two known griseofulvin analogs (2 and 3). The structure of 1 was determined primarily by analysis of **1H NMR, **13C NMR,HMQC, and HMBC data. Compound 1 was the major component of the CH2Cl2 extract of P. sclerotigenum sclerotia and is responsible for most of the antiinsectan activity of the extract against the crop pest Helicoverpa zea.