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Fathumma Rizana Shiraz: Food Safety through "Green Fungicide"

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posted on 30.09.2021, 06:06 authored by Fathumma Rizana ShirazFathumma Rizana Shiraz
Food safety has been intensively challenged by plant fungal pathogens worldwide and Botrytis cinerea which causes ‘Botrytis Bunch Rot’ (Gray mould rot) in fresh horticultural crops, has impacted economically on more than 1400 cultivated plant species1. It has caused crop yield losses $10 billion to $100 billion globally2. New Zealand wine industry has been threatened highly by Botrytis pathogen and direct crop losses are around NZ$5000/ha, while control costs are around NZ$1500/ha3. As concerns on food safety and emerging resistant types due to chemical fungicides, safer alternatives have been tried by industry and researchers. But they do not effectively control the pathogen as same as chemical fungicides.

In this research antimicrobial peptide which is a natural defence mechanism of some living cells, has been evaluated against Botrytis. Antimicrobial peptide analogues were synthesised using Solid Phase Peptide Synthesis and purified. Bioassay was conducted for Battacin analogue-7 Octapeptide as well as PAF34 hexapeptide on mycelial growth and spore germination of the pathogen. One copy and three copies of Battacin analogues were totally effective at 3µM/mL while two copies of PAF34 were effective at 6µM/mL. Battacin analogues antimicrobial peptides can be utilized to control Botrytis pathogen effectively and to protect harvest of grapes.

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