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The potential of plant proteins as antifungal agents for agricultural applications


Fungal pathogens induce a variety of diseases in both plants and post-harvest food crops, resulting in significant crop losses for the agricultural industry. Although the usage of chemical-based fungicides is the most common way to control these diseases, they damage the environment, have the potential to harm human and animal life, and may lead to resistant fungal strains. Accordingly, there is an urgent need for diverse and effective agricultural fungicides that are environmentally- and eco-friendly. Plants have evolved various mechanisms in their innate immune system to defend against fungal pathogens, including soluble proteins secreted from plants with antifungal activities. These proteins can inhibit fungal growth and infection through a variety of mechanisms while exhibiting diverse functionality in addition to antifungal activity. In this mini review, we summarize and discuss the potential of using plant antifungal proteins for future agricultural applications from the perspective of bioengineering and biotechnology.

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