Submitted to: Potato Association of America Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 22, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Effective control of foliar potato diseases has relied principally upon use of resistant varieties and fungicide applications. New methods for developing resistant varieties have come through engineered resistance. New sources of fungicidal compounds are being developed in our laboratory using antimicrobial peptides produced through engineering of microorganisms. An antimicrobial peptide was overexpressed in the bacterium E. coli as a fusion protein, coupled to the carboxy terminal region of prosystemin protein. In laboratory experiments the protein/peptide completely inhibited Phytophthora infestans zoospore and sporangial germination at 150 nanograms per microliter. The same concentration led to elimination of lesion formation on detached leaf assays. Optimizing expression of this protein/peptide combination can lead to new compounds for application in disease control.