Production of loline alkaloids by the grass endophyte, Neotyphodium uncinatum, in defined media. Academic Article uri icon


  • Lolines (saturated 1-aminopyrrolizidines with an oxygen bridge) are insecticidal alkaloids produced in symbioses of certain Epichlo (anamorph-Neotyphodium) species (fungal endophytes) with grasses, particularly of the genera Lolium and Festuca. Prior to the present study, it was unknown whether lolines were of plant or fungal origin. Neotyphodium uncinatum, the common endophyte of meadow fescue (Lolium pratense=Festuca pratensis) produced loline, N-acetylnorloline, and N-formylloline when grown in the defined minimal media at pH 5.0-7.5, with both organic and inorganic nitrogen sources and sugars as carbon sources. In contrast, lolines were not detected in complex medium cultures. GC-MS and 13C NMR spectroscopic analyses confirmed the identity of the alkaloids isolated from the defined medium cultures. Lolines accumulated to ca. 700 mg/l (4 mM) in cultures with 16.7 mM sucrose and 15-30 mM asparagine, ornithine or urea. Kinetics of loline production and fungal growth were assessed in defined medium with 16.7 mM sucrose and 30 mM ornithine. The alkaloid production rate peaked after the onset of stationary phase, as is common for secondary metabolism in other microbes.

published proceedings

  • Phytochemistry

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Blankenship, J. D., Spiering, M. J., Wilkinson, H. H., Fannin, F. F., Bush, L. P., & Schardl, C. L.

citation count

  • 116

complete list of authors

  • Blankenship, JD||Spiering, MJ||Wilkinson, HH||Fannin, FF||Bush, LP||Schardl, CL

publication date

  • January 2001