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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Crop Improvement and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #243872

Title: Plant defensins: Defense, development and application

Author
item Stotz, Henrik - University Of Wuerzburg
item Thomson, James - Jim
item Yueju, Wang - Macon State College

Submitted to: Plant Signaling and Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2009
Publication Date: 11/1/2009
Citation: Stotz, H., Thomson, J.G., Yueju, W. 2009. Plant defensins: Defense, development and application. Plant Signaling and Behavior.4(11):1010-1012.

Interpretive Summary: Plant defensins are small peptide proteins with antifungal and antimicrobial properties. This paper reviews current literature and briefly describes what is known what has been attempted in the understanding and use of these molecules.

Technical Abstract: Plant defensins are small, highly stable, cysteine-rich peptides that constitute a part of the innate immune system primarily directed against fungal pathogens. Biological activities reported for plant defensins include antifungal activity, antibacterial activity, proteinase inhibitory activity, and insect amylase inhibitory activity. Plant defensins have been shown to inhibit infectious diseases of humans and to induce apoptosis in a human pathogen. Transgenic plants overexpressing defensins are strongly resistant to fungal pathogens. Based on recent studies, some plant defensins are not merely toxic to microbes but also have roles in regulating plant growth and development.