In the context of the study on plant defensive compounds we have isolated the main alkaloid from Hippeastrum puniceum (Amaryllidaceae), 3-O-acetyl-narcissidine (1), and its biological activities tested against two divergent insect species and several plant species. 1 was isolated from the bioactive alkaloidal fraction of H. puniceum. Its chemical structure was established by spectroscopic analysis. The biological activity tests showed that 1 is an antifeedant against the polyphagous insect Spodoptera littoralis but not against the olyphage Leptinotarsa decemlineata. Furthermore, the root growth of Amaranthus hypochondriacus, Rottboellia cochinchinensis, Panicum maximum and Solanum lycopersicum was significantly affected by 1. These results suggest a plant protective role for H. puniceum alkaloids.
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