The quorum-sensing molecule 2-phenylethanol impaired conidial germination, hyphal membrane integrity and growth of Penicillium expansum and Penicillium nordicum

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Aims: The aim of the study was to investigate the antifungal effects of a quorum sensing-molecule, 2-phenylethanol, against the food spoilage moulds Penicillium expansum and Penicillium nordicum. Methods and Results: Conidial germination of the tested Penicillium spp. (three strains in total) were inhibited by treatments with 2-phenylethanol in a concentration-dependent manner. Germinated conidia was significantly reduced from 4·4–16·7% at 7·5 mmol l−1 and completely inhibited at 15 mmol l−1 2-phenylethanol. Integrity of conidial cell membranes was unaffected by 2-phenylethanol resulting in reversible inhibition pattern of germination. In contrast, membrane permeability of actively growing hyphae was severely compromised, showing 63·5 – 75·7% membrane damage upon treatment with 15 mmol l−1 2-phenylethanol. The overall inhibitory effect of 2-phenylethanol on colony development and growth of P. expansum and P. nordicum was additionally confirmed. Conclusions: 2-phenylethanol inhibits conidial germination and growth of P. expansum and P. nordicum in a nonlethal, reversible and concentration-dependent manner. Significance and Impact of the Study: The study indicates that 2-phenylethanol can find potential application as an antifungal agent for biological control of moulds in the food industry.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)278-286
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • 2-Phenylethanol, cell membrane integrity, conidial germination, mould inhibition, Penicillium spp.

ID: 240191600