Antifungal activity of water-soluble products obtained following the liquefaction of cornstalk with sub-critical water.


College of Chemistry, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin 130012, China. Electronic address: [Email]


Cornstalks are the leftover leaves and stems in a field after corn harvest. They are a potential biomass resource but are underutilized in agricultural production systems. To examine the chemical components in cornstalks and their corresponding functions, blocky cornstalks were treated in water at temperatures of 190, 210, 230, 250, and 270 °C in a high-pressure reactor. Water-soluble products (WSPs) were extracted from these treatments, and their chemical compositions were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and their antifungal activities were determined using a bioassay. It was found that WSPs contained 28.7-40.1% phenols, 27.9-36.6% ketones, 0-2.6% alcohols, 4.9-10.1% esters, 5.4-7.8% organic acids, 1.3-12% aldehydes, and 5.5-18.4% of other organic compounds such as nitrogen- and sulfur-containing compounds, furan compounds, and benzene compounds. The inhibition the growth of the plant pathogen Fusarium oxysporum by WSPs was affected by temperature. WSP-270 (obtained at 270 °C) exhibited the best growth-inhibition efficacy. Under a biomicroscope, WSP-270-treated F. oxysporum showed a deformed and swollen hypha, and an increased number of bifurcations, as well as an expansion of growing apexes of new bifurcations. Therefore, the antifungal activity of WSPs could be used to manage soilborne plant pathogens.


Antifungal activity,Cornstalk,Fusarium oxysporum,Liquefaction,Sub-critical water,Water-soluble products,

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