GLYPHOSAT - comes replacement?


Unusual sugar from cyanobacteria acts as a natural herbicide:


Chemists and microbiologists of the University of Tübingen discover sugar molecule,

which inhibits plants and microorganisms and harmless to human cells

is - an alternative to the controversial glyphosate.

Researchers at the University of Tübingen have discovered a natural substance that could compete with the controversial herbicide glyphosate: The newly found sugar molecule from cyanobacteria inhibits the growth of various microorganisms and plants, but is beneficial to humans and animals

dangerous. The joint study was conducted by Dr. med. Klaus Brilisauer, Professor Stephanie Grond (Institute of Organic Chemistry) and Professor Karl Forchhammer (Interfaculty Institute for Microbiology and Infection Medicine). She appeared on Friday in the journal Nature Communications.

Active ingredients for pharmaceutical or agricultural use often originate in natural products. These can consist of complex chemical structures, but also be relatively simple. Often, the genius of such drugs lies in their simplicity: so-called "antimetabolites" (metabolimus = metabolism) interact with vital processes in the cell by mimicking metabolic products. The result is a disruption of the affected biological process, which can lead to the growth inhibition or even the death of the affected cell.


The Tübingen research team in chemistry and microbiology now came across a very unusual antimetabolite with a strikingly simple chemical structure: a sugar molecule with the scientific name "7-deoxy-sedoheptulose (7dSh)". Unlike ordinary carbohydrates, which are usually used as an energy source for growth, this substance inhibits the growth of various plants and microorganisms, such as bacteria and yeasts. The sugar blocks an enzyme of the so-called Shikimatwegs, a metabolic pathway that occurs only in microorganisms and plants. For this reason, the scientists classify the active substance as harmless to humans and animals and have already proven this in the first investigations.


The long-term goal is to be able to replace controversial herbicides and their health-related degradation products in the long term, the researchers say.



Klaus Brilisauer, Johanna Rapp, Pascal Rath, Anna Schoellhorn, Lisa Bleul, Elisabeth Weiss, Mark Steel, Stephanie Grond, Karl Forchhammer "Cyanobacterial antimetabolite 7-deoxy-sedoheptulose blocks the shikimate pathway to inhibit the growth of prototrophic organisms.

- Published in Nature Communications (February 1st, 2019). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-019-08476-8 / Source: University of Tübingen 2019