Deletion of the Trichoderma virens NRPS, Tex7, induces accumulation of the anti-cancer compound heptelidic acid Academic Article uri icon


  • The anticancer antibiotic heptelidic acid is a sesquiterpene lactone produced by the beneficial plant fungus Trichoderma virens. This species has been separated into two strains, referred to as P and Q, based on its biosynthesis of secondary metabolites; notably, only P-strains were reported to produce heptelidic acid. While characterizing a Q-strain of T.┬ávirens containing a directed mutation in the non-ribosomal peptide synthetase encoding gene Tex7, the appearance of an unknown compound in anomalously large quantities was visualized by TLC. Using a combination of HPLC, LC-MS/MS, and NMR spectroscopy, this compound was identified as heptelidic acid. This discovery alters the strain classification structure of T.┬ávirens. Additionally, the Tex7 mutants inhibited growth of maize seedlings, while retaining the ability to induce systemic resistance against the foliar fungal pathogen, Cochliobolus heterostrophus.

altmetric score

  • 1.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Taylor, J. T., Mukherjee, P. K., Puckhaber, L. S., Dixit, K., Igumenova, T. I., Suh, C., Horwitz, B. A., & Kenerley, C. M.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Taylor, James T||Mukherjee, Prasun K||Puckhaber, Lorraine S||Dixit, Karuna||Igumenova, Tatyana I||Suh, Charles||Horwitz, Benjamin A||Kenerley, Charles M

publication date

  • July 2020