A reassessment of the role of steroidal alkaloids in the physiology of Phytophthora

W. David Nes, Gary A. Saunders, Erich Heftmann

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Phytophthora cactorum was incubated in vitro with solasodine, [3H] solanidine, and [3H] solanine in the presence and absence of an equal weight of [14C] cholesterol. The extent to which the two genins and the glycoalkaloid inhibited sterol-induced sexual reproduction was dependent primarily on the extent to which the fungus assimilated the steroidal alkaloids. Cholesterol increased the uptake of solasodine and [3H] solanidine by the mycelium, but the genins affected neither cholesterol-induced growth responses, measured as radial diameter or dry wt, nor the accumulation of [14C] cholesterol, nor its conversion to esters and glycosides. The genins were not converted to esters or glycosides, but [3H] solanine was hydrolysed to solanidine. Solanine was not significantly assimilated by the fungus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-78
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1983


  • Phytophthora cactorum
  • Pythiaceae
  • cholesterol.
  • oomyceteous fungi
  • steroidal alkaloids


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