Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 33, Issue 7, pp 1449–1455 | Cite as

Effects of Root Isoquinoline Alkaloids from Hydrastis canadensis on Fusarium oxysporum Isolated from Hydrastis Root Tissue

  • Michael C. TimsEmail author
  • Charisma Batista


Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis L.) is a popular medicinal plant distributed widely in North America. The rhizome, rootlets, and root hairs produce medicinally active alkaloids. Berberine, one of the Hydrastis alkaloids, has shown antifungal activity. The influence of a combination of the major Hydrastis alkaloids on the plant rhizosphere fungal ecology has not been investigated. A bioassay was developed to study the effect of goldenseal isoquinoline alkaloids on three Fusarium isolates, including the two species isolated from Hydrastis rhizosphere. The findings suggest that the Hydrastis root extract influences macroconidia germination, but that only the combined alkaloids—berberine, canadine, and hydrastine—appear to synergistically stimulate production of the mycotoxin zearalenone in the Fusarium oxysporum isolate. The Hydrastis root rhizosphere effect provided a selective advantage to the Fusarium isolates closely associated with the root tissue in comparison with the Fusarium isolate that had never been exposed to Hydrastis.


Hydrastis Goldenseal Fusarium F. oxysporum F. solani F. commune Endophyte Isoquinoline alkaloid Rhizosphere Chemical ecology 



I acknowledge Paul Strauss, for permission to wildcraft goldenseal on United Plant Savers land and Alex Johnson for contributions to the ELISA detection. This study is part of the Ph.D. dissertation research undertaken by Michael C. Tims.


  1. Cernakova, M., and Kostalova, D. 2002. Antimicrobial activity of berberine—a constituent of Mahonia aquifolium. Folia Microbiol. (Praha) 47:375–378.Google Scholar
  2. Galeffi, C., Cometa, M. F., Tomassini, L., and Nicoletti, M. 1997. Canadinic acid: an alkaloid from Hydrastis canadensis. Planta Med. 63:194.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gentry, E. J., Hanuman, J. B., Keshavarz-Shokri, A., Morton, M. D., Velde, D. V., Telikepalli, H., and Mitscher, L. A. 1998 Antitubercular natural products: berberine from the roots of commercial Hydrastis canadensis powder. Isolation of inactive 8-oxotetrahydrothalifendine, canadine, β-hydrastine, and two new quinic acid esters, hycandinic acid esters-1 and -2. J. Nat. Prod. 61:1187–1193.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Goel, M., Singh, U. P., Jha, R. N., Pandey, V. B., and Pandey, M. B. 2003. Individual and combined effect of (+/−)-alpha-hydrastine and (+/−)-beta-hydrastine on spore germination of some fungi. Folia Microbiol. (Praha) 48:363–368.Google Scholar
  5. Gunawardena, U., Rodriguez, M., Straney, D., Romeo, J. T., Vanetten, H. D., and Hawes, M. C. 2005. Tissue-specific localization of pea root infection by Nectria haematococca. Mechanisms and consequences. Plant Physiol. 137:1363–1374.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Koske, R. E., and Gemma, J. N. 1989. A modified procedure for staining roots to detect VA-mycorrhizas. Mycol. Res. 92:486–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Maddox, R. M., Zeldin, E. L., and Mccown, B. H. 1999. Use of nodule cultures grown in bioreactors for mass propagation of goldenseal. In Vitro Cell Dev. Biol. 35:51–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Mcnamara, C., Perry, N. B., Follett, J. M., Parmenter, G. A., and Douglas, J. A. 2004. A new glucosyl feruloyl quinic acid as a potential marker for roots and rhizomes of goldenseal, Hydrastis canadensis. J. Nat. Prod. 67:1818–1822.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Moerman, D. E. 1986. Medicinal plants of native America, vol. 1. Reg. Univ. Mich. Museum Anthropol., Ann Arbor, pp. 910.Google Scholar
  10. Ueno, Y., Ishii, K., Sawano, M., Ohtsubo, K., and Matsuda, Y. 1977. Toxicological approaches to the metabolites of fusaria. XI trichothecenes and zearalenone from Fusarium species isolated from river sediment. Jpn. J. Exp. Med. 47:177–184.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cell Biology and Molecular GeneticsUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.F. Hebert School of MedicineUniform Services University of Health SciencesBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Analytical ChemistryNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA

Personalised recommendations