SUMMARY: Under selected conditions Meredith's actinomycete produced culture fluids toxic to many fungi. From these fluids the active principle, called musarin, has been isolated by two methods. Preparations active in concentrations of 1/80,000--1/100,000 seemed substantially pure.

Musarin is an optically active acid of high molecular weight having by microtitration an equivalent weight of at least 4000. Analyses of the best preparations are in good agreement with an empirical formula (CHON). No definite conclusion can be drawn about the exact chemical nature of musarin; a protein-like structure seems to be excluded by the low nitrogen content, which recalls that of many bacterial polysaccharides; but formulation as a polysaccharide seems equally unsatisfactory because of the low oxygen content.

Tests indicate that musarin is one of the most potent antifungal antibiotics, though as an antibacterial agent it is less effective. It is active against several important plant parasites and it may be useful in combating the Panama disease of the banana plant and other fungal diseases of economic importance.


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