Anti-virulence activities of some Tillandsia species (Bromeliaceae)

Keywords: Anti-biofilm, anti-virulence, bromeliads, quorum quenching, Tillandsia


Background: Using molecules that inhibit bacterial virulence is a potential strategy to fight infections, with the advantage that, in contrast to bactericidal compounds, they do not induce resistance. Several compounds with anti-virulence properties have been identified in plants, however, they represent a small portion of the total diversity, and in Mexico there are still few studies on this matter. 

Hypothesis: Extracts of species of the Tillandsia genus inhibit the expression of diverse virulence factors without affecting the bacterial growth. 

Studied species: Tillandsia recurvata (L.) L., T. schiedeana Steud. and T. fasciculata Sw. 

Study site and date: These species were collected in December 2016 in the municipalities of Ixtlahuaca and Santo Tomás de los Plátanos, State of Mexico.

Methods: The ability of dichloromethane (CH2Cl2) and methanol (CH3OH) extracts to inhibit production of violacein in Chromobacterium violaceum was evaluated, as well as the virulence factors regulated by quorum sensing, motility and biofilm in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In addition, the bioactive fractions obtained were partially identified by 1H NMR.

Results: CH2Cl2 and CH3OH extracts reduced violacein production from 43 to 85 %, but only those from CH2Cl2 reduced protease activity, biofilm formation and swarming. Interestingly, CH3OH extracts stimulated the formation of biofilms by up to 37 %. Presence of terpenes and phenolic compounds in these species was confirmed. In T. schiedeana glycosylated compounds and cycloartane-type triterpenes were identified.

Conclusion: The species of Tillandsia show anti-virulence activity, mainly on factors related to adhesion and dispersion in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.


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Author Biographies

Macrina Pérez-López, Colegio de Postgraduados. Campus Montecillo

Posgrado de Botánica. Maestra en ciencias. Candidata al grado de doctor

María Flores-Cruz, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Iztapalapa

Profesora Titular, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Unidad Iztapalapa

CoordinadoraNacional de la Red-Bromelias-SAGARPA-SNICS-SINAREFI

Mariano Martínez-Vázquez, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Departamento de productos naturales, Instituto de Química

Marcos Soto-Hernández, Colegio de Postgraduados. Campus Montecillo

Posgrado de Botánica. Profesor investigador titular

Rodolfo García-Contreras, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Facultad de Medicina, Departamento de Microbiología y Parasitología. Investigador titular. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Daniel Padilla-Chacón, Colegio de Postgraduados, Campus Montecillo

Posgrado de Botánica,

Israel Castillo-Juárez, Colegio de Postgraduados. Campus Montecillo

Posgrado de Botánica. Doctor. Catedrático Conacyt


Anti-virulence activities of some Tillandsia species (Bromeliaceae)


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How to Cite
Pérez-López, M., Flores-Cruz, M., Martínez-Vázquez, M., Soto Hernández, R. M., García-Contreras, R., Padilla-Chacón, D., & Castillo-Juárez, I. (2020). Anti-virulence activities of some Tillandsia species (Bromeliaceae). Botanical Sciences, 98(1), 117-127.