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Purification and Phytotoxic Analysis of Botrytis cinerea Virulence Factors: New Avenues for Crop Protection

Author(s): Subodh Rathi | Hana McFeeters | Robert L. McFeeters | Maria R. Davis

Journal: Agriculture (Basel)
ISSN 2077-0472

Volume: 2;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 154;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: BcSnod1 | BcSnod2 | Ceratoplatanin | Botrytis cinerea | virulence factor | recombinant expression

Botrytis cinerea is a necrotrophic fungus infecting over 230 plant species worldwide. This highly adaptable pathogen can afflict agricultural products from seed to storage, causing significant economic losses and instability in the food supply. Small protein virulence factors secreted by B. cinerea during infection play an important role in initiation and spread of disease. BcSnod1 was found to be abundantly expressed upon exposure to media containing strawberry extract. From sequence similarity, BcSnod2 was also identified and both were recognized as members of the Ceratoplatanin family of small phytotoxic proteins. Recombinant BcSnod1 was shown to have a phytotoxic effect and play an important role in pathogenicity while the role of BcSnod2 remains less clear. Both bacterial and yeast production systems are reported, though the bacterial protein is less toxic and mostly unfolded relative to that made in yeast. Compared to BcSnod1, recombinant bacterial BcSnod2 shows similar, but delayed phytotoxicity on tomato leaves. Further studies of these critical virulence factors and their inhibition promise to provide new avenues for crop protection.
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