A Lily Strikes Back | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 9 | p. 4 | Letters
Issue Date: February 28, 2011

A Lily Strikes Back

Department: Letters

A spectacular example of “Vegetative Warfare” (C&EN, Jan. 31, page 53) is demonstrated by the edible Japanese lily Lilium maximowiczii. In direct response to attack by the pathogenic Fusarium oxysporum fungus, this lily produces seven chlorinated orcinol fungicides, which are structurally unprecedented but not unrelated to man-made fungicides (J. Nat. Prod., 1998, 61, 913). These novel natural organohalogens join the total of nearly 5,000 such compounds that have been identified (Prog. Chem. Org. Nat. Prod. 2010, 91, 1–613).

Gordon W. Gribble
Hanover, N.H.

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