Submitted to: American Chemical Society Symposium Series
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 12, 2011
Publication Date: April 4, 2012
Citation: Rajasekaran, K., Cary, J.W., Chlan, C.A., Jaynes, J.M., Bhatnagar, D. 2012.Strategies for controlling plant diseases and mycotoxin contamination using antimicrobial synthetic peptides. In: Rajasekaran, K., Cary, J.W., Jaynes, J.M., Montesinos, E., editors. Small Wonders: Peptides for Disease Control. American Chemical Society Symposium Series. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC: Oxford University Press, Inc. p. 295-315.
Development of disease-resistant transgenic crops is very difficult due to the fact that host plant-pathogen interaction is a very complex phenomenon and it is often crop/variety or pathogen/strain-specific. Synthetic peptides are useful in controlling a broad spectrum of plant pathogens including difficult-to-control, mycotoxin-producing fungal species such as Aspergillus and Fusarium. The effectiveness of synthetic peptide genes in controlling microbial pathogens has been well established using transgenic crops in our laboratory and elsewhere. Some of the additional advantages of synthetic peptides include 1) they are not subject to rapid degradation in cytoplasm as compared to naturally occurring peptides, 2) they offer unique resistance to microbes because of their novelty and preempt possible development of resistance, and 3) they appear to be not harmful to beneficial microbes in the root zone. This paper reviews various strategies for controlling plant pathogenic microbes including toxin producing fungi using synthetic peptide gene expression in transgenic crops.