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Recombinant production of plant defense peptides to inhibit Verticillium wilt in cotton crops.

Verticillium dahliae is a phytopathogenic fungus that affects more than 300 species worldwide. It attacks plant’s vascular system causing wilting and reducing the product’s quality and overall crop production.1 Every year, around 150,000 tons of cotton have been lost per year due to this particular organism.2

To prevent and inhibit the disease caused by V. dahliae, the transformation of E. coli to produce the three following plant antifungal peptides recombinantly, is presented. AtPFN1 has shown the ability to break down fungal cell walls, even when found as spores.3 WAMP1b inhibits the enzyme fungalysin, which is a fungal response to the plant’s defense mechanism.4 Finally, PsDef1 produces morphological changes to fungal mycelium.5 Moreover, the coexpression of the peptides with chaperone molecule Erv1p is designed to improve disulfide bond formation.6

Additionally, the elaboration of a systemic, preventive, and treating biofungicide using the produced recombinant antifungal peptides as an active ingredient, is proposed.

  1. Farr, D., & Rossman. (2014). Fungal Databases, Systemic Mycology and Microbiology Laboratory, ARS, USDA. Retrieved from:
  2. Li, X., Zhang, Y., Ding, C., Xu, W., & Wang, X. (2017). Temporal patterns of cotton Fusarium and Verticillium wilt in Jiangsu coastal areas of China. Scientific Reports, 7(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-017-12985-1
  3. Park, S., Kim, I., Kim, J., Lee, Y., Kim, E.., Jung, J., … Lee, J. (2018). Molecular mechanism of Arabidopsis thaliana profilins as antifungal proteins. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects, 1862(12), 2545–2554. doi:10.1016/j.bbagen.2018.07.028
  4. Slavokhotova, A., Naumann, T., Price, N, Rogozhin, E., Andreev, Y., Vassilevski, A., & Odintsova, T. (2014). Novel mode of action of plant defense peptides - hevein-like antimicrobial peptides from wheat inhibit fungal metalloproteases. FEBS Journal, 281(20), 4754–4764. doi:10.1111/febs.13015
  5. Kovaleva, V., Kiyamova, R., Cramer, R., Krynytskyy, H., Gout, I., Filonenko, V., & Gout, R. (2009). Purification and molecular cloning of antimicrobial peptides from Scots pine seedlings. Peptides, 30(12), 2136–2143. doi:10.1016/j.peptides.2009.08
  6. Veggiani, G., & De Marco, A. (2011). Improved quantitative and qualitative production of single-domain intrabodies mediated by the co-expression of Erv1p sulfhydryl oxidase. doi:

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