Antifungal Activity of Agave Species from Gujarat, India

  • Anjisha R. Maharshi
  • Vrinda S. ThakerEmail author


In the present investigation, crude extracts of five different species of Agave (Agave americana, Agave ferox, Agave montana, Agave scabra and Agave marginata) have been examined against six plant pathogenic fungi, viz. Macrophomina phaseolina, Alternaria porii, Aspergillus awamorii, Aspergillus niger, Fusarium udum and Fusarium solani using media poisoning method. The percent inhibition of hyphal growth was measured after the seventh day of incubation. Vast variations were observed in their activities on different pathogens. Amongst the fungi studied, the highest inhibition (more than 50 %) of hyphal growth was observed for M. phaseolina by all the extracts. These data suggest that the different Agave species have potential as antifungal agents with a broad range of activity. The antifungal compound isolated from these plants can be used as possible ecofriendly plant-based fungicides to control plant diseases.


Agave sp. Antifungal activity Macrophomina phaseolina Inhibition 



The authors are grateful to the Vimal Research Society for Agro-Biotech and Cosmic Powers and the Centre for Advanced Studies in Plant Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Department of Biosciences, Rajkot, Gujarat for providing research facilities, and the University Grants Commission (UGC), Delhi (India) for financial support.


  1. Abdel-Khalik SM, Miyase T, Melek FR (2002) New steroidal saponins from Agave lophantha Schiede and their pharmacological evaluation. Pharmazie 57:562–566PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Afrose S, Hossain MS, Maki T, Tsujii H (2009) Karaya root saponin exerts a hypocholesterolemic response in rats fed a high-cholesterol diet. Nutr Res 29(5):350–354PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Agrios GN (1997) Plant pathology, 4th edn. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Al-Askar AA, Rashad YM (2010) Efficacy of some plant extracts against Rhizoctonia solani on pea. J Plant Prot Res 50:269–242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Al-Burtamani KS, Majekodunmi OF, Marwah RG, Onifade AK, Al-Saidi SH (2005) Chemical composition, antibacterial and antifungal activities of the essential oil of Haplophyllum tuberculatum from Oman. J EthnoPharmacol 96:107–112PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ark PA, Thompson JP (1959) Control of certain diseases of plants with antibiotics from garlic (Allium sativum L.). Plant Dis Rep 43:276Google Scholar
  7. Begum N, Sharma B, Pandey RS (2010) Toxicity potential and anti AchE activity of some plant extracts in Musca Domestica. J Biofertil Biopestici 2:108. doi:10.4172/2155-6202.1000108Google Scholar
  8. Behboudi S, Morein B, Villacres-Eriksson M (1999) Quillaja saponin formulations that stimulate proinflammatory cytokins elicit a potent acquired cell-mediated immunity. Scand J Immunol 50:371–377PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Blakeman JP, Fokkema NJ (1982) Potential for biocontrol of plant diseases on the phylloplane. Annu Rev Phytopathol 20:167–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bobbarala V, Chadaram RK, Vadlapudi V, Katikala PK (2009) Medicinal plants as alternative biocontrol agents in the control of seed borne pathogen Macrophomina phaseolina. J Pharm Res 2:1045–1048Google Scholar
  11. Cano JH, Volpato G (2004) Herbal mixtures in the traditional medicine of eastern Cuba. J Ethnopharmacol 90:293–316PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Chandler D, Bailey AS, Tatchell GM, Davidson G, Greaves J, Grant WP (2011) The development, regulation and use of biopesticides for integrated pest management. Phil Trans R Soc B 366:1987–1998PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chattopadhyay DK, Maiti AP, Kundu MS, Chakraborty R, Bhadra SC, Mandal AB (2001) Antimicrobial activity of Alstonia macrophylla: a folklore of bay islands. J Ethnopharmacol 77:49–55PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Chetan AC, Patel RM, Dakhara SL, Jariwala JK (2010) In vitro cytotoxicity study of Agave americana, Strychnos nux-vomica and Areca catechu extract using MCF-7 cell line. J Adv Pharm Tech Res 1:245–252Google Scholar
  15. Coleman JJ, Okoli I, Tegos GP, Holson EB, Wagner FF, Hamblin MR, Mylonakis E (2010) Characterization of plant-derived saponin natural products against Candida albicans. ACS Chem Biol 5:321–332PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dhingra CD, Sinclair JB (1973) Variation among the isolates of Macrophomina phaseolina (Rhizoctonia bataticola) from different regions. Phytopathol Z 76:200–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dimoglo AS, Choban IN, Bersuker IB, Kintya PK, Balashova NN (1985) Structure-activity correlations for the antioxidant and antifungal properties of steroid glycosides. Bioorg Khim 11:408–413PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Dini I, Schettino O, Simioli T, Dini A (2001) Studies on the constituents of Chenopodium quinoa seeds: isolation and characterization of new triterpene saponins. J Agric Food Chem 49:741–746PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Elad Y (1993) Microbial suppression of infection by foliar plant pathogens. IOBC Bull 16:3–7Google Scholar
  20. El-Mougy NS, Alhabeb RS (2009) Inhibitory effects of powdered caraway and peppermint extracts on pea root rot under greenhouse conditions. J Plant Protec Res 49:93–96Google Scholar
  21. Fawzi EM, Khalil AA, Afifi AF (2009) Antifungal effect of some plant extracts on Alternaria alternata and Fusarium oxysporum. Afr J Biotechnol 8:2590–2597Google Scholar
  22. Friedman M (2002) Tomato glycoalkaloids: role in the plant and the diet. J Agric Food Chem 50:751–5780CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gentry HS (1982) Agaves of continental North America. The University of Arizona Press, TucsonGoogle Scholar
  24. Guleria S, Kumar A (2006a) Azadirachta indica leaf extract induces resistance in sesame against Alternaria leaf spot disease. J Cell Mol Biol 5:81–86Google Scholar
  25. Guleria S, Kumar A (2006b) Antifungal activity of some Himalayan medicinal plants using direct bioautography. J Cell Mol Biol 5:95–98Google Scholar
  26. Guleria S, Kumar A (2009) Antifungal activity of Agave americana leaf extract against Alternaria brassicae, causal agent of Alternaria blight of Indian mustard (Brassica juncea). Arch Phytopathol Plant Protec 42:370–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Guleria S, Sohal BS, Mann APS (2005) Salicylic acid treatment and/or Erysiphe polygoni inoculation on phenylalanine ammonia-lyase and peroxidase content and accumulation of phenolics in pea leaves. J Veg Sci 11:71–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gupta S, Dikshit AK (2010) Biopesticides: an ecofriendly approach for pest control. J Biopest 3:186–188Google Scholar
  29. Hammuel C, Yebpella GG, Shallangwa GA, Magomya AM, Agbaji AS (2011) Phytochemical and antimicrobial screening of methanol and aqueous extracts of Agave sisalana. Acta Poloniae Pharmaceut Drug Res 68:535–539Google Scholar
  30. Haridas V, Arntzen CJ, Gutterman JU (2001) Avicins, a family of triterpenoid saponins from Acacia victoriae (Bentham), inhibit activation of nuclear factor-kappa B by inhibiting both its nuclear localization and ability to bind DNA. Proc Nat Acad Sci U S A 98:11557–11562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hassan SM, Haq AU, Byrd JA, Berhow MA, Cartwright AL, Bailey CA (2010) Haemolytic and antimicrobial activities of saponin-rich extracts from guar meal. Food Chem 119:600–605CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hostettmann KA, Marston A (1995) Saponins. Chemistry and pharmacology of natural products. Cambridge Univesity Press, Cambridge, pp. 239–284Google Scholar
  33. Huang HC, Chou CH (2005) Impact of plant disease biocontrol and allelopathy on biodiversity and agricultural sustainability. Plant Pathol Bull 14:1–12Google Scholar
  34. Ilondu EM (2011) Evaluation of some aqueous plant extracts used in the control of pawpaw fruit (Carica papaya L.) rot fungi. J Appl Biosci 37:2419–2424Google Scholar
  35. Imai S, Fujioka S, Murata E, Goto M, Kawasaki T, Yamauchi T (1967) Bioassay of crude drugs and oriental crude drug preparations. XXII. Search for biologically active plant ingredients by means of antimicrobial tests. 4. Antifungal activity of dioscin and related compounds. Takeda Kenkyusho Nenpo 26:76–83Google Scholar
  36. Ito S, Eto T, Tanaka S, Yamauchi N, Takahara H, Ikeda T (2004) Tomatidine and lycotetraose, hydrolysis products of alpha-tomatine by Fusarium oxysporum var. tomatinase, suppress induced defense responses in tomato cells. FEBS Lett 571:31–34PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Jin JM, Liu XK, Yang CR (2002) New steroidal saponin from fermented leaves of Agave americana. Acta Bot Yunnanica 24:539–542Google Scholar
  38. Joseph B, Dar MA, Kumar V (2008) Bioefficacy of plant extracts to control Fusarium solani f. Sp. melongenae incitant of brinjal wilt. Global J Biotechnol Biochem 3:56–59Google Scholar
  39. Keukens EAJ, de Vrihe T, van den Boom C (1995) Molecular basis of glycoalkaloid induced membrane disruption. Biochem Biophys Acta 1240:216–228PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Khallil A-RM (2001) Phytofungitoxic properties in the aqueous extracts of some plants. Pak J Biol Sci 4:392–394CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Khan MTJ, Ahmad K, Alvi MN, Noor-ul-Amin, Mansoor B, Saeed MA, Khan FZ, Jamshaid M (2010) Antibacterial and irritant activities of organic solvent extracts of Agave americana Linn., Albizzia lebbek Benth. Achyranthes aspera Linn. and Abutilon indicum Linn—A preliminary investigation. Pak J Zool 42:93–97Google Scholar
  42. Khan SN (2007) Macrophomina phaseolina as causal agent for charcoal rot of sunflower. Mycopath 5(2):111–118Google Scholar
  43. Kiran K, Linguraju S, Adiver S (2006) Effect of plant extract on Sclerotium rolfsii, the incitant of stem rot of ground nut. J Mycol Pl Pathol 36:77–79Google Scholar
  44. Kozukue N, Han J, Lee K, Friedman M (2004) Dehydrotomatineand α-tomatine content in tomato fruits and vegetative plant tissues. J Agric Food Chem 52:2079–2083PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lyon GD, Reglinski T, Newton AC (1995) Novel disease control compounds: the potential to ‘immunize’ plants against infection. Plant Pathol 44:407–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Mazid S, Rajkhowa RC, Kalita JC (2011) A review on the use of biopesticides in insect pest management. Inter J of Sci Adv Technol 1:169–178Google Scholar
  47. Mekbib SB, Regnier TJC, Korsten L (2007) Control of Penicillium digitatum on citrus fruit using two plant extracts and study of their mode of action. Phytoparasitica 35(3):264–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Miyakoshi M, Tamura Y, Masuda H, Misutani K, Tanaka O, Ikeda T, Ohtani K, Kasai R, Kazuo Y (2000) Antiyeast steroidal saponins from Yucca schidigera (Mohave Yucca), a new anti-food-deteriorating agent. J Nat Prod 63:332–338PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Morrissey JP, Osbourn AE (1999) Fungal resistance to plant antibiotics as a mechanism of pathogenesis. Microbiol Mol Boil Rev 63:708–724Google Scholar
  50. Newton SM, Lau C, Gurcha SS, Besra GS, Wright CW (2002) The evaluation of forty-three plant species for in vitro antimycobacterial activities: Isolation of active constituents from Psoralea corylifolia and Sanguinaria canadensis. J Ethnopharmacol 79:57–67PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Oh S, Kinjo J, Shii Y, Ikeda T, Nohara T, Ahn K, Kim J, Lee H (2000) Effects of triterpenoids from Pueraria lobata on immunohemolysis: β-D-glucuronic acid plays an active role in anticomplementary activity in vitro. Planta Med 66:506–510PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Osbourn A, Bowyer P, Lunness P, Clarke B, Daniels M (1995) Fungal pathogens of oat roots and tomato leaves employ closely related enzymes to the detoxify different host plant saponins. Mol Plant Microbe Interact 8:971–978PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Pandey JC, Kumar R, Gupta RC (1992) Possibility of biological control of rhizome rot of ginger by different antagonists. Progressive Hortic 24:227–232Google Scholar
  54. Prithiviraj B, Singh UP (1995) Biological control of plant pathogens: a key to a serene agro-ecosystem. J Rec Adv Appl Sci 10:99–100Google Scholar
  55. Ragupathi G, Damani P, Deng K, Adams MM, Hang J, George C, Livingston PO, Gin DY (2010) Preclinical evaluation of the synthetic adjuvant SQS-21 and its constituent isomeric saponins. Vaccine 28:4260–4267PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Rojas R, Bustamante B, Bauer J, Fernandez I, Alban J, Lock O (2003) Antimicrobial activity of selected Peruvian medicinal plants. J Ethnopharmacol 88:199–204PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Sahayaraj K, Namasivayam SKR, Rathi JM (2011) Compatibility of entomopathogenic fungi with extracts of plants and commercial botanicals. Afr J Biotechnol 10:933–938Google Scholar
  58. Sahu NP, Banerjee S, Mondal NB, Mandal D (2008) Steroidal saponins. Prog Chem Organ Nat Prod 89:45–141Google Scholar
  59. Sanchez E, Heredia N, Garcıa S (2005) Inhibition of growth and mycotoxin production of Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus by extracts of Agave species. Int J Food Microbiol 98:271–279PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Santos JDG, Branco A, Silva AF, Pinheiro CSR, Neto AG, Uetanabaro APT, Queiroz SROD, Osuna JTA (2009) Antimicrobial activity of Agave sisalana. Afr J Biotechnol 8(22):6181–6184Google Scholar
  61. Shukla S, Mehta P, Mehta A, Vyas SP, Bajpai VK (2011) Preliminary phytochemical and antifungal screening of various organic extracts of Caesalpinia bonducella seeds. Roman Biotechnol Lett 16:6384–6389Google Scholar
  62. Simons V, Morrissey JP, Latijnhouwers M, Csukai M, Cleaver A, Yarrow C, Osbourn A (2006) Dual effects of plant steroidal alkaloids on Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 50:2732–2740PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Sparg SG, Light ME, Staden JV (2004) Biological activities and distribution of plant saponins. J Ethnopharmacol 94:219–243PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Verastegui MA, Sanchez-Garcıa CA, Heredia NL, García-Alvarado JS (1996) Antimicrobial activity of three major plants of the Chihuahuan desert. J Ethnopharmacol 52:175–177PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Verastegui A, Verde J, Garcıa S, Heredia N, Oranday A, Rivas C (2008) Species of Agave with antimicrobial activity against selected pathogenic bacteria and fungi. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 24:1249–1252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Williams RJ, Heymann DL (1998) Contamination of antibiotic resistance. Science 279:1153–1154PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wilson M (1997) Biocontrol of aerial plant diseases in agriculture and horticulture: Current approaches and future prospects. J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol 19:188–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Witte W (1998) Medical consequences of antibiotic use in agriculture. Science 279:996–997PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Wolters B (1966) Antimicrobial activity of plant steroids and triterpenes. Planta Med 14:392–401PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Yadav SK (2010) Pesticide applications-Threat to ecosystems. J Hum Ecol 32(1):37–45Google Scholar
  71. Yang C, Zhang Y, Jacob M, Khan S, Zhang YJ, Xing-Cong L (2006) Antifungal activity of C-27 steroidal saponins. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 50:1710–1714PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Zadoks JC (1993) Antipodes on crop protection in sustainable agriculture. In: Corey S, Dall D, Milne W (eds) Pest control and sustainable agriculture. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia, pp. 3–12Google Scholar
  73. Zwane PE, Masarirambi MT, Magagula NT, Dlamini AM, Bhebhe E (2011) Exploitation of Agave americana L. plant for food security in Swaziland. Am J Food Nutr 1:82–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Advanced Studies in Plant Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering, Department of BiosciencesSaurashtra UniversityRajkotIndia

Personalised recommendations