Location: Food and Feed Safety Research
2006 Annual Report
The goal of this project is to discover new, value-added biobased products from plants, particularly from low value/underutilized crops. This would potentially lead to compounds that could be used to protect crops during storage and processing. Therefore, this project contains elements of Problem Areas 2a (New Product Technology), 2b (New Uses for Agricultural By-Products), and 2c (New and Improved Processes and Feedstocks) of National Program 306.
This project directly addresses portions of National Program 306 concerning the discovery of bioactive products for use as preservatives or pesticides (Problem Area 2a), discovery of antifungal compounds in crop by-products (Problem Area 2b) and new technologies to convert agricultural products into value-added bio-based products (Problem Area 2c). There is also a secondary effort in Component V (Host Plant Resistance) of National Program 303. This research effort addresses the need in Component V to identify antifungal plant protein genes leading to transgenic expression in host plants or up-regulation in producing plants to enhance resistance to fungal infection.
FY 2005: (1) Purify the antifungal compound present in barley cotyledon shoots as well as production of this compound and initial antifungal bioassays performed to determine the spectrum of activity. (2) Purify the cotton cotyledon antifungal compound with similar production of the compound and initial in vitro bioassays as with the barley compound and share compound with collaborators who would perform in vitro antifungal assays. (3) Initial extraction of peanut and rice hulls with subsequent bioassays to determine antifungal properties. (4) Production of our patented fungicide, CAY-1, for collaborative studies in greenhouse and field settings. (5) Maize antifungal purification and antifungal assays. (6) Collaborator determination of mode of action and safety of purified antifungal compounds.
FY 2006: (1) Continued production and testing of the cotton antifungal compound with collaborators. (2) Purification and structural analysis of okra fruit antifungal. Initial testing of antifungal compound by collaborators. (3) Production of CAY-1 for collaborators to test in greenhouse and fields. (4) Maize antifungal purification and antifungal assays. (5) Initial testing of barley antifungal in greenhouse by collaborators. (6) Collaborator determination of mode of action and safety of purified antifungal compounds.
FY 2007: (1) Production and in vitro testing of purified okra antifungal. (2) Purification and antifungal assays of purified peanut and rice hull antifungal. (3) Production of purified barley, cotton and okra antifungal for collaborative studies that include greenhouse and/or large lab-scale testing. (4) Begin plant transformation and engineering of crops with genome of one or more of the discovered antifungal compounds. (5) Collaborator determination of mode of action and safety of purified antifungal compounds.
FY 2008: (1) Prepare purified samples of barley, cotton and okra antifungal compounds for collaborative studies. (2) Purify rice and/or peanut hull antifungal compounds. (3) Plant transformation and engineering of crops with genome of one or more of the discovered plant antifungals. (4) Collaborator determination of mode of action and safety of purified antifungal compounds.
FY 2009: (1) Purified peanut and/or rice antifungal for collaborators. (2) Greenhouse or field testing of peanut and/or rice antifungal by collaborators.
This work is relevant and directly addresses Problem Area 2a (the discovery of bioactive compounds for use as preservatives or pesticides), and Problem Area 2c (conversion of agricultural products into value-added biobased products of National Program 306 (Quality and Utilization of Agricultural Products). It has a secondary effort of Component V (identification of antifungal protein genes leading to transgenic expression in host plants or up-regulation in producing plants to enhance plant resistance to fungal infection) of National Program 303 (Plant Diseases).
The single most significant accomplishment during FY 2006 was the partial purification of a potent fungicide, particularly active against Fusarium, a serious plant pathogen, in water extracts of bay leaf. Our work addresses the problem of the development of resistance to fungicides by plant pathogenic fungi and the need of new, safe preservatives. These problems require the discovery of new fungicides that are non-toxic to plants, animals and humans. The possible impact is the development of a new agricultural fungicide effective against Fusarium, a serious phytopathogen of grains, as well as a new preservative for use in foods (e.g., bread) and post harvest crops such as citrus.
Related National Program Component: National Program 306, Problem Area 2a. This research comes under this problem area because it will determine whether EDTA and silver nitrate can act synergistically with CAY-1 (our patented fungicide), in vitro, against plant pathogenic fungi.
b) Development of Non Funded Cooperative Agreements. A cooperative agreement was developed with the Department of Natural Renewable Resources to study plant-produced antimicrobials. We are currently performing the initial separation studies of an antifungal compound from a Tibetan plant. The second agreement was set up with the Department of Entomology to determine whether our plant extracts have anti-insect properties).
Related National Program Component: National Program 303, Problem Areas 2a (discovery of bioactive compound for use as preservatives or pesticides) and 2c (new technologies to convert agricultural products into value-added bio-based products).
Predicted impact: This information could influence theories on the synthesis of fungicidal compounds.
B. Barley-produced fungicides. The second major accomplishment was the discovery of three small molecular weight, synergistic, fungicidal compounds in barley. These compounds are not fungicidal alone but are lethal to the fungus, Fusarium oxysporum, when mixed together. The data indicates that this is the first discovery of three fungicidal compound synergistic set in nature.
Predicted impact: (1) Successful isolation of these compounds could lead to up-regulation of these compounds in barley and subsequent enhanced protection against fungi. (2) Novel fungicides commercially used.
C. Discovery of potent fungicide in bay leaf. We discovered that bay leaf contains a potent fungicide(s) active against Fusarium species.
Predicted impact: Potential enhanced value of a low value crop (bay leaf) yielding a potent fungicide for commercial uses.
B. The barley synergy fungicidal compounds, as well as bay leaf fungicidal compound, have not yet been patented so we do not foresee it being available to end-users before FY 2008-2009.
De Lucca II, A.J., Boue, S.M., Palmgren, M.S., Maskos, K., Cleveland, T.E. 2004. Reduced fungicidal properties of CAY-1 precursors. Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy Proceedings. Abstract F-845. p. 208.
De Lucca II, A.J., Boue, S.M., Palmgren, M.S., Maskos, K., Cleveland, T.E. 2006. Fungicidal properties of two saponins from Capsicum frutescens and the relationship of structure and fungicidal activity. Canadian Journal of Microbiology. 52:336-342.