Submitted to: Phytochemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 20, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Chemicals produced by plants in the cucumber family help protect these plants against laccase, but not against other enzymes, produced by the grey mold fungus. The purpose of this study was to determine how plants protect themselves against their fungus. Chemicals extracted from plants reduce the activity of laccase and limit its production by the fungus. This basic cfinding will lead to a more thorough understanding of the interactions between plants and their fungal pathogens.
Some members of the Cucurbitaceae contain potential phytoalexin compounds, known as cucurbitacins, which inhibit the formation of extracellular laccase by Botrytis cinerea and also prevent infection. Cucurbitacins D,E, and I and an extract from Ecballium were tested for their ability to inhibit expression of laccase mRNA. The amount of laccase mRNA was reduced drelative to an internal standard, b- tubulin mRNA, when B. cinerea was grown in the presence of these compounds. Thus, it appears that the inhibitory effect of cucurbitacins on the activity of laccase and on infection by B. cinerea can be attributed to their effects on the level of mRNA.