Activity and mode of action against fungal phytopathogens of bovine lactoferricin-derived peptides

Alberto Munoz Rodriguez, A. Muñoz, J. F. Marcos

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    Aim: To evaluate the activity against fungal phytopathogens of two synthetic peptides derived from the protein bovine lactoferricin: the antibacterial active core of six amino acid residues (LfcinB20-25) and an extension of 15 amino acids (LfcinB17-31). Methods and Results: In vitro activity against fungal pathogens was determined and compared with that against model micro-organisms. Activity was demonstrated against fungi of agronomic relevance. Distinct antimicrobial properties in vitro were found for the two peptides. LfcinB17-31 had growth inhibitory activity higher than LfcinB20-25. However, LfcinB17-31 was not fungicidal to quiescent conidia of Penicillium digitatum at the concentrations assayed, while LfcinB20-25 killed conidia more efficiently. Microscopical observations showed that the mycelium of P. digitatum treated with LfcinB17-31 developed alterations of growth, sporulation and chitin deposition, and permeation of hyphal cells. In experimental inoculations of mandarins, both peptides showed limited protective effect against the disease caused by P. digitatum. Conclusions: LfcinB20-25 and LfcinB 17-31 peptides were shown to have antimicrobial activity against plant pathogenic filamentous fungi, with distinct properties and mode of action. Significance and Impact of the Study: LfcinB20-25 and LfcinB 17-31 peptides offer novel alternatives to develop resistant plants by molecular breeding. © 2006 The Authors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1199-1207
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006


    • Antimicrobial peptide
    • Citrus fruits
    • Lactoferrin
    • Penicillium digitatum


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