Sydney NSW, Australia
For your information
2021-07-15T21:38:00.0000000Z
   0
Modified yeast inhibits fungal growth in plants

UC Riverside

About 70-80% of crop losses due to microbial diseases are caused by fungi. Fungicides are key weapons in agriculture’s arsenal, but they pose environmental risks. Over time, fungi also develop a resistance to fungicides, leading growers on an endless quest for new and improved ways to combat fungal diseases. 

The latest development takes advantage of a natural plant defense against fungus. In a paper published in Biotechnology and Bioengineering, engineers and plant pathologists at UC Riverside describe a way to engineer a protein that blocks fungi from breaking down cell walls, as well as a way to produce this protein in quantity for external application as a natural fungicide. The work could lead to a new way of controlling plant disease that reduces reliance on conventional fungicides.

To gain entrance into plant tissues, fungi produce enzymes that use catalytic reactions to break down tough cell walls. Among these are polygalacturonases, or PGs, but plants are not helpless against this attack. Plants produce proteins called PG-inhibiting proteins, or PGIPs, that slow catalysis.

A group of UC Riverside researchers located the segment of DNA that tells the plant how to make PGIPs in common green beans. They inserted complete and partial segments into the genomes of baker’s yeast to make the yeast produce PGIPs. The team used yeast instead of plants because yeast has no PGIPs of its own to muddy the experiment and grows quicker than plants.

After confirming the yeast was replicating with the new DNA, the researchers introduced it to cultures of Botrytis cinerea, a fungus that causes gray mold rot in peaches and other crops; and Aspergillus niger, which causes black mold on grapes and other fruits and vegetables. 

Read on: https://news.ucr.edu/articles/2021/07/14/modified-yeast-inhibits-fungal-growth-plants

PG_inhibiting_proteins

No responses yet...