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Biotecnología Aplicada

On-line version ISSN 1027-2852


HERNANDEZ-ESTEVEZ, Ingrid et al. The inhibition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns confers high protection against fungi and oomycetes in plants. Biotecnol Apl [online]. 2014, vol.31, n.3, pp.254-257. ISSN 1027-2852.

Crops of agricultural interest are highly affected by fungi- and oomycetes-caused diseases in Cuba and worldwide. The search for alternatives for its control continues, as a major challenge with the use of biotechnological techniques. In nature, plants are exposed to biotic stress and develop resistance against pathogenic infection through the fast activation of the innate immune system. Such an effective resistance response requires the detection and fast inhibition of the evolutionary conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). These PAMPs comprise, among others, proteases and polygalacturonases, which mediate the initial pathogenicity mechanisms during infection that counteract the initial plant defensive responses. In this work, inhibitors of pathogen's proteases and polygalacturonases were developed to generate plant resistance against a wide spectrum of fungi- and oomycetes-caused diseases. Tobacco plants expressing a polygalacturonase inhibitor conferred, for the first time, high levels of resistance against this type of pathogens under field conditions. Additionally, a novel protease inhibitor effective against pathogens' proteases was identified and characterized, which also provided resistance against pathogenic oomycetes in plants. This research granted the 2013 Award of the Cuban National Academy of Sciences.

Keywords : disease resistance; polygaracturonase inhibitor; protease inhibitor; plant protection; fungi; oomycetes.

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