Interaction Between the Antibiotic Trichothecenes and the Higher Plant Baccharis megapotamica

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Science  23 Oct 1981:
Vol. 214, Issue 4519, pp. 460-462
DOI: 10.1126/science.214.4519.460


The Brazilian shrub Baccharis megapotamica contains significant amounts of antibiotic trichothecenes. When these plants are grown in the United States, they are devoid of the mycotoxins. Feeding experiments with fungus-produced trichothecenes show that Baccharis megapotamica absorbs, translocates, and chemically alters these compounds to ones with structures analogous to those found in the plant in its native habitat. The mycotoxins, which have no apparent ill effect in Baccharis megapotamica, kill tomatoes, peppers, and artichokes.