Microbial phytotoxins

These are herbicides and include the highly commercially successful glufosinate, a synthetic form of phosphinothricin, first isolated from Streptomyces hygroscopicus, a soil-borne microbe. This compound is a potent, irreversible inhibitor of gluta-mine synthetase which is used in plants for photorespiration. Many attempts have been made to make synthetic variants of phosphinothricin without success. Other members of this group include anisomycin and herboxidiene, derived from other Streptomyces strains. The veterinary insecticide, avermectin is derived from Streptomyces avermitilis.

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