Picture of M. Soledade C. Pedras

M. Soledade C. Pedras B.Sc., Licentiate, Ph.D, D.Sc.

Professor of Chemistry

Chemistry professor emeritus

Thorvaldson 355

Research Area(s)

  • Discovery of novel plant defences and their biosynthetic pathways
  • Detoxification of plant defences by plant pathogens
  • Chemical synthesis and biological activity of plant metabolites
  • Design and synthesis of paldoxins
  • Discovery of phytotoxins produced by plant pathogens


antifungal biosynthesis detoxifying enzymes fungal metabolites paldoxins phytoalexins phytoanticipins secondary metabolism

Selected Publications - 2015-2021


Complete list @ Pedras' Group  WEB page

172. Pedras, M. S. C.; Alavi, M.; Abdoli, A. 2021. Phytoalexins and signalling metabolites produced in the wild crucifer Neslia paniculata: Camalexins and arabidopsides. ChemRxiv. Preprint. https://doi.org/10.26434/chemrxiv.14166866.v2

171. Pedras, M. S. C.;* Thapa, C. Hossain, S. 2021. Benzyl and phenyl glucosinolates are metabolized by the specific plant pathogen Alternaria brassicicola but not by the generalist fungal pathogens Rhizoctonia solani or Sclerotinia sclerotiorum. ChemRxiv. Preprint.  https://doi.org/10.26434/chemrxiv.13350335.v1

170. Pedras, M. S. C.; Alavi, M. 2020: Expanding the phytoalexin chemical space: Tropalexins A and B from Tropaeolum majus suggest evolutionary conservation of biosynthetic enzymes. ChemRxiv. Preprint. https://doi.org/10.26434/chemrxiv.13350335.v1 

169. Pedras, M. S. C.;* Thapa, C. 2020. Unveiling detoxification pathways of the cruciferous phytoalexin rapalexin A: sequential L-cysteine conjugation, acetylation and oxidative cyclization mediated by Colletotrichum spp.  Phytochemistry, 169, 12188.

168. Pedras, M. S. C.;* Abdoli, A.; To, Q. H.; Thapa, C. 2019. The ecological roles of tryptanthrin, indirubin and N-formylanthranilic acid in Isatis indigotica: phytoalexins or phytoanticipins? Chemistry & Biodiversity, doi: 10.1002/cbdv.201800579.

167. Pedras, M. S. C.;* Abdoli, A. 2018. Methoxycamalexins and related compounds: Syntheses, antifungal activity and inhibition of brassinin oxidase. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 26, 4461-4469.

[1]166. Pedras, M. S. C.;* To, Q. H. 2018. Interrogation of biosynthetic pathways of the cruciferous phytoalexins nasturlexins and brassinins with isotopically labelled compounds. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 16, 3625–3638.

165. Pedras, M. S. C.;* To, Q. H. 2018. Synthesis of stable isotope–labeled nasturlexins and potential precursors to probe biosynthetic pathways of  cruciferous phytoalexins. Journal of Labelled Compounds and Radiopharmaceuticals, 61, 94-106.

164. Pedras, M. S. C.;* Abdoli, A. 2017. Discovery of inhibitors of brassinin oxidase based on quinoline and isoquinoline scaffolds: design, synthesis and antifungal activity. Molecules, 22, 1345; doi:10.3390/molecules22081345.

[2]163. Pedras, M. S. C.; Abdoli, A. 2017. Pathogen inactivation of cruciferous phytoalexins: detoxification reactions, enzymes and inhibitors. RSC Advances, 7, 23633-23646.

162. Pedras, M. S. C.;* To, Q. H. 2017. Defense and signalling metabolites of the crucifer Erucastrum canariense:  synchronized abiotic induction of phytoalexins and galactosyl-oxylipins. Phytochemistry, 139 18-24.

161. Pedras, M. S. C.;* Abdoli, A. 2017. Biotransformation of rutabaga phytoalexins by the fungus Alternaria brassicicola: unveiling the first hybrid metabolite derived from a phytoalexin and a fungal polyketide. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 25, 557–567.

160. Pedras, M. S. C.;* Park, M. R. 2016. The biosynthesis of brassicicolin A in the phytopathogen Alternaria brassicicola. Phytochemistry, 132, 26-32.

[3]159. Pedras, M. S. C.;* To, Q. H. 2016. Unveiling the first  indole-fused thiazepine: structure and synthesis of the cruciferous phytoalexin cyclonasturlexin.  Chemical Communications, 52, 5880-5883.

158. Pedras, M. S. C.;* To, Q. H.; Schatte, G. 2016. Divergent reactivity of an indole glucosinolate yields Lossen or Neber rearrangement products: the phytoalexin rapalexin A or a unique b-D-glucopyranose fused heterocycle. Chemical Communications, 52, 2505-2508.

157. Pedras, M. S. C.;* Alavi, M.; To, Q. H. 2015. Expanding the nasturlexin family: nasturlexins C and D and their sulfoxides are phytoalexins from the crucifers Barbarea vulgaris and B. verna. Phytochemistry, 118  131–138.

156. Pedras, M. S. C.;* Park, M. R. 2015. Metabolite diversity in the plant pathogen Alternaria brassicicola: factors affecting production of brassicicolin A, depudecin, phomapyrone A and other metabolites. Mycologia, 107, 1138-1150.

155. Pedras, M. S. C.;* Yaya, E. E. 2015. Plant chemical defenses: Are all constitutive antimicrobial metabolites phytoanticipins? Natural Products Communications, 9, 209-216 (INVITED REVIEW).

154. Pedras, M. S. C.;* To, Q. H. 2015. Non-indolyl cruciferous phytoalexins: Nasturlexins and tridentatols, a striking convergent evolution of defenses in terrestrial plants and marine animals? Phytochemistry, 113, 57–63.

[1] This article is part of the themed collection: Chemical Biology in OBC.

[2] Invited, The Royal Society of Chemistry to mark the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Chemistry Conference. CSC100: Celebrating Canadian Chemistry, featuring current achievements and future perspectives of Canadian authors from across the Royal Society of Chemistry portfolio.

[3] Highlighted in Natural Product Reports, 2016, 33, 742.




Teaching & Supervision

Organic and bioorganic chemistry; natural products chemistry Secondary metabolism

Organic and Bioorganic Chemistry; Natural Products Chemistry; Chemical Ecology


Organic Chemistry and Natural Products biosynthetic pathways detoxifying enzymes paldoxins phytoalexins phytoanticipins phytotoxins secondary metabolism

Details @ Pedras' Group  WEB page


In our group we are using bioorganic, biochemical and biological techniques to understand economically important diseases of cruciferous oilseeds  (e.g. canola, rapeseed, and mustard), vegetables (e.g. rutabaga, broccoli, cauliflower, and turnip), and condiments (e.g. mustard and wasabi). In particular, the interaction of crucifers with blackleg, blackspot, root rot, stem rot, white rot, and white rust fungi is being investigated. Experimental work combines a wide variety of chemical and biological studies including:

  • design and synthesis of paldoxins (inhibitors of phytoalexin detoxifying enzymes);
  • isolation and characterization of detoxifying enzymes;
  • metabolomics of wild cruciferous species;
  • chemical structure determination of metabolites synthesized by plant pathogens (e.g. phytotoxins and elicitors) and plants (e.g. phytoalexins and phytoanticipins)
  • determination of biological activities and function of plant and fungal metabolites;
  • biosynthesis and metabolism of bioactive metabolites in pathogens and plants;
  • chemical synthesis of bioactive compounds and intermediates/products of detoxification pathways
  • proteomics of plant fungal pathogens.

Education & Training

B.Sc., LIcentiate, University of Porto, Portugal

Ph.D., University of Alberta, Canada

D.Sc., University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Awards & Honours

  • Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, awarded by Canada Research Chairs Program July 2011-June 2018
  • Doctor of Science, awarded by University of Saskatchewan June 2011
  • Distinguished Researcher, awarded by University of Saskatchewan June 2009
  • Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, awarded by Canada Research Chairs Program July 2004-June 2011
  • Thorvaldson Professor, awarded by University of Saskatchewan, Department of Chemistry July 2003-June 2008
  • Clara Benson Award, awarded by Canadian Society for Chemistry June 2003