Upcoming Trade show
Personal Care - Teamworks 2018

Plants vs. Fungi: Inherent Antimicrobial Activity

Fungi fight back…

 Situ Biosciences – Microbial Test Experts

There is a war being waged by the microorganisms around us.  New research has shown that fungi have evolved proteins that help it avoid plant defenses against microbes.  This research provides another amazing example of the subtle interplay that occurs in nature between a host and the pathogenic organisms that they battle against. 

Plants like all organisms have immune responses that help them fight against infection by microorganisms.  However, in turn, microorganisms have evolved numerous very subtle mechanisms either to simply evade or to directly counteract these host defenses.

In a recent article by De Jonge et al (Science Aug 20, 2010), one such mechanism used by the tomato plant pathogenic fungi Cladosporium fulvum was described.    Cladosporium sp., a fungi commonly associated with the defacement of cellulosic products such as papers and textiles, predominantly plagues agricultural industries.   This article presents how these fungi release a protein that helps the fungi go undetected while invading the tomato plant.   The result is that the plant has a more difficult time in responding to this particular fungal pathogen, lessening its antifungal response.

In the microbial world, immunological defenses (such as antibodies) are keyed into pattern recognition receptors that “see” parts of microbes or small molecules released from microbes that then signals the plant to initiate both biochemical (fast response) and genetic (slower response) changes to stop the invading microbe.  In the case described in this article, the plant would normally detect the release of waste chitin (a fungal cell wall component) and initiate a response against the pathogen.  However, the fungi can “cover its tracks” by releasing a protein to bind the chitin, hiding the waste chitin from the normal plant receptor.

As in combat, evasion of detection for the fungi is key to their ability to thrive.  Plants and fungi are relatively slow in responses to environmental stimuli, so if the fungi can obtain the upper hand is it growth cycle, the host plant is likely to succumb over time.

You may have heard –  Chitin and Chitosan are not the same.  Chitosan is a trade name for a chemically processed form of chitin, which is the sugar polymer derived from chitin. Chitosan derives antimicrobial properties from the processing of chitin making it cationic, which as a polymer has certain antibacterial and antifungal properties.  Chitin for this use is typically derived from shrimp exoskeletons because of their abundance and relative purity as compared to other renewable sources of chitin.

To learn more about our microbial testing and development services please visit www.situbiosciences.com , email info@situbiosciences.com.


Situ Biosciences to Present at Personal Care EXPO

Come check out our booth #332!

Situ Biosciences will be at the Teamworks Expo in April to showcase our technical expertise in the personal care and cosmetic industry. Our team will go over product performance testing and formulation development, and be able to discuss a variety of services that help our customers meet their testing needs.

When: April 11, 2018

Located at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center:
5555 N River Rd, Rosemont, IL 60018

Come visit our booth: #332

Please let us know if you would  like to set up a meeting at the conference.

Feel free to contact our laboratory at (847) 483-9950 or info@situtest.com