, Volume 90, Issue 10, pp 468–472 | Cite as

Biological activities of an extract from Cleome viscosa L. (Capparaceae)

  • L.A.D. WilliamsEmail author
  • E. Vasques
  • W. Reid
  • R. Porter
  • W. Kraus
Short Communication


Electron micrograph examination of the leaf and stem surfaces of Cleome viscosa L (Family Capparaceae) revealed the presence of secretory glandular trichomes with club-cylinder and cylinder morphologies. In the present study, the leaves and stems of C. viscosa were extracted with hexane and the extract was evaluated for the following biological activities: anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, contact insecticidal and nematicidal. The extract was found to be a potent anti-bacterial agent according to the thin layer chromatography autobiographic assay. Activity-directed isolation studies of the anti-bacterially active compounds led to a 14-member ring cembranoid diterpene being identified as one of the effective agents. Minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values (µg/spot) of 5.0 µg/spot and 1.0 µg/spot were found for the diterpene on Bacillus subtilis (Gram-positive) and Pseudomonas fluorescens (Gram-negative), respectively. The diterpene did not inhibit the growth of the fungus Cladosporium cucumerinum. The extract demonstrated a pyrethroid type of contact insecticidal activity on adult Cylas formicarius elegantulus Summer (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). The extract also had high nematicidal activity with a percentage Abbott's value of 72.69 on the plant parasitic nematode Meloidogyne incognita Chitwood; however, the extract lost its potency upon subfractionation.


Glandular Trichome Thin Layer Chromatography Plate Picrotoxin Diterpene Nematicidal Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to express our gratitude to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Bonn, Germany) for a Forschungsstipendium to L.A.D.W., and the University of Hohenheim Institute for Bio-organic Chemistry, Stuttgart, Germany, where part of this study was conducted.


  1. Adams CD (1972) Flowering plants of Jamaica. University Press, Glasgow, pp 302–303Google Scholar
  2. Asai T, Tena G, Plotnikova J, Willmann MR, Chiu W-L, Gomez-Gomez L, Boller T, Ausubel FM, Sheen J (2002) MAP kinase signalling cascade in Arabidopsis innate immunity. Nature 415:977–983Google Scholar
  3. Babu JR (1988) Avermectins: biological and pesticidal activities. In: Cutler HG (ed) Biologically active natural products, potential use in agriculture. ACS Symp Ser 380:91–108Google Scholar
  4. Bowers WS (1984) Phytochemical resources for plant protection In: James NF (ed) Recent advances in the chemistry of insect control. Henry Ling, Dorset, pp 272–291Google Scholar
  5. Burke AB, Chan WR, Honkan VA (1980) The structure of cleomeolide, an unusual bicyclic diterpene from Cleome viscosa L. (Capparaceae). Tetrahedron 36:3489–3493CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Busvine JR (1972) A critical review of the techniques for testing insecticides, 2nd edn. Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux, LondonGoogle Scholar
  7. Collins DO, Gallimore WA, Reynolds WF, Williams LAD, Reese PD (2000) New skeletal sesquiterpenoids, caprariolides A-D, from Capraria biflora and their insecticidal activity. J Nat Prod 63:1515–1518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Duke SO, Rimando AM, Duke MV, Paul RN, Ferreira JFS, Smeda RJ (1999) Sequestration of phytotoxins by plants: implication for biosynthetic production In: Cutler HG, Cutler SJ (eds) Biologically active natural products: agrochemical. CRC, Boca Raton, Fla., pp 127–136Google Scholar
  9. Ehrlich PR, Raven PH (1964) Butterflies and plants: a study in co-evolution. Evolution 18: 586–608Google Scholar
  10. Hamburger MO, Cordell GA (1987) A direct bioautographic TLC assay for compounds possessing antibacterial activity. J Nat Prod 50(1):19–22Google Scholar
  11. Homans AL, Fuchs A (1970) A direct bioautography on thin layer chromatograms as a method for detecting fungitoxic substances. J Chromatogr 51:325–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jackson YA, Williams M, Williams LAD, Redway F (1998) Insecticidal properties of some 2-aminobenzofurans and their analogues. Pestic Sci 53:241–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Jandl A (1997). Optimerung eines Testsystems zur Untersuchung der Nematiziden Wirkung von Naturstoffen auf Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid and White) Chitwood. Dissertation zur Erlangung des Grades eines Doktors der Naturwissenschaften, Universitat Hohenheim, Stuttgart, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  14. Jeffree C (1987) The cuticle, epicuticular waxes and trichomes of plants, with reference to their structure, function and evolution In: Juniper B, Southwood R (eds) Insects and the plant surface. Edward Arnold, London, pp 23–64Google Scholar
  15. Jente R, Jakupovic J, Olatunji GA (1990) A cembranoid diterpene from Cleome viscosa. Phytochemistry 29(2):666–667CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kennedy GG (1986) Consequences of modifying biochemically mediated insect resistance in Lycopersicon spp. In: Green MB, Hedin PA (eds) Natural resistance of plant to pests: roles of allelochemicals. ACS Symp Ser 296:130–141Google Scholar
  17. Kubo I (2000) Antimicrobial activity of olive compounds and their modes of action. Presented at PSE meeting: Natural products from the plants and marine organisms of the Mediterranean and Atlantic seaboard, isolation, synthesis and industrial application, Lisbon, Portugal, April 2–5 2000. Abstract booklet. Phytochemical Society of EuropeGoogle Scholar
  18. Laue G, Preston CA, Baldwin IT (2000) Fast track to the trichome: induction of N-acyl nornicotines precedes nicotine induction in Nicotiana repanda. Planta 210:510–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Levin DA (1973) The role of trichomes in plant defence. Q Rev Biol 48:3–15Google Scholar
  20. Norton CF (1982) Microbiology. Addison Wesley, Reading, Mass., pp 748–780Google Scholar
  21. Rosenthal GA, Berenbaum MR (1992) Herbivores: their interactions with secondary plant metabolites, vol II: evolutionary and ecological processes. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  22. Sorensen KA (1987) Cultural, regulational and educational programmes on the sweet potato weevil in the United States. Insect Sci Appl 8:825–830Google Scholar
  23. Stainer RY, Ingraham JL, Wheelis ML, Painter PR (1986) The relations between structure and function in procaryotic cells. In: General microbiology. MacMillan, London, pp 145–182Google Scholar
  24. Wahlberg I. Elund A-M, Berserca AB (1992) Cyclized cembranoids of natural occurrence. In: Böckl CAA van, Eklund A-M, Petitou M, Wahlberg I (eds) Progress in the chemistry of organic natural products. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 1–141Google Scholar
  25. Williams DH, Stone MJ, Hanck PR, Rahman SK (1989) Why are secondary metabolites (natural products) biosynthesized? J Nat Prod 52(6):1189–1208PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • L.A.D. Williams
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. Vasques
    • 1
    • 4
  • W. Reid
    • 3
  • R. Porter
    • 2
  • W. Kraus
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Bio-organic ChemistryUniversity of HohenheimStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Pure and Applied SciencesUniversity of the West IndiesKingstonJamaica
  3. 3.Electron Microscopy Unit, Faculty of Pure and Applied SciencesUniversity of the West IndiesKingstonJamaica
  4. 4.Philippine Root Crop ResearchVisayas State Colleage of AgricultureBaybayThe Philippines

Personalised recommendations