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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MOLECULAR AND GENETIC APPROACHES TO SUPPRESSING FUNGAL PATHOGENS AND MYCOTOXIN CONTAMINATION

Location: Foodborne Toxin Detection and Prevention

Title: Chemosensitization of fungal pathogens to antimicrobial agents using phenolic compounds

Authors
item Campbell, Bruce
item Kim, Jong Heon

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 30, 2009
Publication Date: May 29, 2011
Citation: Campbell, B.C., Kim, J.H. 2011. Chemosensitization of fungal pathogens to antimicrobial agents using phenolic compounds. In: Pirttila, A.M. and Sorvari, S., Eds. Prospects and Applications for Plant-Associated Microbes, A Laboratory Manual, Part B: Fungi. Paimio, Finland: BioBien Innovations. p. 212-214.

Interpretive Summary: Fungal pathogens can cause major problems for both agriculture and human health. By infecting crop plants, fungi cause the plant to die or such infections undermine agricultural productivity. Some fungi actually produce toxic substances that are harmful, if ingested. Fungal infections of humans can also result in major health problems, including death. Though it is possible to control fungi with antifungal agents, as with many microorganisms, fungi can develop resistance to treatments. Here, we describe a new method of using simple, safe natural compounds to disrupt the ability of the fungus to protect itself. The result of such disruption is that the fungus loses resistance and becomes susceptible to treatment. This is important for control of fungal pathogens of both plants and humans.

Technical Abstract: This chapter describes the theory behind use of chemosensitization to control fungal pathogens. Oxidative stress response systems of fungal pathogens play important roles in protecting cells from reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated during host defense or environmental factors. Therefore, oxidative stress response systems of fungi are currently recognized as potential targets of antimicrobial compounds. Certain natural phenolics derived from plants possess potent antifungal activity. This effect is associated with oxidative stress signaling pathways including downstream antioxidation genes. Responses of particular mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisae treated with phytochemicals indicated these compounds affect oxidative stress response system of fungi. Studies indicate fungal oxidative stress response system can be an efficient molecular target of natural antifungal phenolics.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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