MOLECULAR AND GENETIC APPROACHES TO SUPPRESSING FUNGAL PATHOGENS AND MYCOTOXIN CONTAMINATION
Location: Plant Mycotoxin Research
Title: Chemo-sensitization of fungal pathogens to antimicrobial agents using benzaldehyde analogs
Submitted to: Federation of European Microbiological Societies Microbiology Letters
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 28, 2007
Publication Date: April 1, 2008
Citation: Kim, J.H., Mahoney, N.E., Chan, K.L., Molyneux, R.J., May, G.S., Campbell, B.C. 2008. Chemo-sensitization of fungal pathogens to antimicrobial agents using benzaldehyde analogs. Federation of European Microbiological Societies Microbiology Letters.281(1):64-72.
Interpretive Summary: Numerous fungi are major agricultural pests. They can ruin the quality of crops, either before harvest or during storage. Moreover, some fungi produce dangerous toxins that are a threat to human health. Fungicides are available to control these fungi. However, they are expensive and can have a harmful impact on the environment and human health. In addition, fungi are able to consistently develop resistance to these fungicides. Simple and safe natural products, commonly found in plants, can be used to improve the effectiveness of commercial fungicides. These natural compounds can be used to disrupt genetic systems in fungi involved in protecting them from stresses. The use of the natural compounds reduces the amount of fungicide needed to kill the fungus. This, in turn, reduces the potential risks to the environment and human health, in addition to development of resistance by the fungus.
Activity of conventional antifungal agents, fludioxonil, strobilurin and antimycinA, which target the oxidative and osmotic stress response systems, was elevated by co-application of certain analogs of benzaldehyde. Fungal tolerance to 2,3-dihydroxybenzaldehyde or 2,3-dihydroxybenzoic acid was found to rely upon mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (SOD2) or glutathione reductase (GLR1), genes regulated by the HOG1 signaling pathway, respectively. Thus, certain analogs of benzaldehyde can be effective at targeting cellular oxidative stress response systems. The ability of these compounds to chemo-sensitize fungi for improved control with conventional anti-fungal agents is discussed.