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Synthetic Peptide Combinatorial Libraries: A Method for the Identification of Bioactive Peptides Against Phytopathogenic Fungi

July 1997 , Volume 10 , Number  5
Pages  537 - 549

Jerry D. Reed , 1 David L. Edwards , 2 and Carlos F. Gonzalez 1

1Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843-2132 U.S.A.; 2Ceres Technologies, Inc., San Antonio, TX 78230 U.S.A.

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Accepted 18 March 1997.

Synthetic combinatorial libraries were evaluated with an iterative process to identify a hexapeptide with broad-spectrum activity against selected phytopathogenic fungi. A D-amino acid hexapeptide (FRLKFH) and pentapeptide (FRLHF) exhibited activity against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici, Rhizoctonia solani (anastomosis group 1), Ceratocystis fagacearum, and Pythium ultimum. The peptides showed no hemolytic or mutagenic activity. Fluorescent microscopy studies with a membrane impermeant dye indicated that fungal cytoplasmic membranes were compromised rapidly and that the nuclear membrane was also affected.

Additional keywords: antifungal, synthetic peptide.

© 1997 The American Phytopathological Society