Structural modification of trans-cinnamic acid using Colletotrichum acutatum


  • Rodrigo Velasco B. Universidad Nacional de Colombia
  • Jesús H. Gil-G. Universidad Nacional de Colombia
  • Carlos M. García-P. Universidad Nacional de Colombia
  • Diego L. Durango-R. Universidad Nacional de Colombia


Biocatalyst, phytopathogenic fungus, metabolic pathway, culture media


The biotransformation of trans-cinnamic acid by whole cells of the Colombian native phytopathogenic fungus Colletotrichum acutatum was studied. Initially, fungitoxicity of this compound against C. acutatum was evaluated; trans-cinnamic acid exhibited a moderate to weak toxicity against the microorganism and apparently a detoxification mechanism was present. Then, in order to study such mechanism and explore the capacity of this fungus to biotransform trans-cinnamic acid into value-added products, the microorganism was incubated with the substrate using three different culture media (Czapeck-Dox, Sabouraud and PDB) at room conditions. Using Czapeck-Dox medium, whole cultures of C. acutatum reduced trans-cinnamic acid, first to aldehydes (trans-cinnamaldehyde and 3-phenylpropanal), then to alcohols (cinnamyl alcohol and 3-phenyl-1-propanol). Subsequently, these alcohols were transformed to the corresponding acetyl esters. Nevertheless, some of these products were absent or present at different concentration when culture medium was changed. The results suggest a mechanism of detoxification in which the α,β-unsaturated carbonyl system is affected. Besides, the formed metabolic products are useful compounds used as fragrances and flavors. Therefore, metabolism of trans-cinnamic acid using C. acutatum can provide new potential metabolic targets to control C. acutatum as well as a simple and efficient way to obtain flavor compounds and perfumes, such as cinnamyl alcohol and 3-phenyl-1-propanol, and their acetyl esters.
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How to Cite

Velasco B., R., Gil-G., J. H., García-P., C. M., & Durango-R., D. L. (2012). Structural modification of trans-cinnamic acid using Colletotrichum acutatum. Revista Facultad De Ingeniería Universidad De Antioquia, (63), 20–29. Retrieved from

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