Antifungal activity of synthetic cowpea defensin Cp-thionin II and its application in dough

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Thery, Thibaut
Arendt, Elke K.
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Plant defensins are small, cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides of the immune system found in several organs during plant development. A synthetic peptide, KT43C, a linear analogue of the native Cp-thionin II found in cowpea seeds, was evaluated for its antifungal potential. It was found that KT43C displayed antifungal activity against Fusarium culmorum, Penicillium expansum and Aspergillus niger. Like native plant defensins, KT43C showed thermostability up to 100 °C and cation sensitivity. The synthetic peptide decreased the fungal growth without inducing morphogenic changes in the fungal hyphae. Non-inhibitory concentrations of the peptide induced permeabilization of the fungal membrane. In addition, high concentrations of KT43C induced the production of reactive oxygen species in the granulated cytoplasm. To investigate potential applications, the peptide was used as an additive in the preparation of dough which did not contain yeast. This peptide delayed the development of fungal growth in the dough by 2 days. Furthermore, KT43C did not induce red blood cell lysis up to a concentration of 200 μ−1. These results highlight the potential for the use of synthetic antimicrobial defensins for shelf-life extension of food products.
Cowpea thionin , Linear defensin , Antifungal activity , Dough
Thery, T. and Arendt, E. K. (2018) 'Antifungal activity of synthetic cowpea defensin Cp-thionin II and its application in dough', Food Microbiology, 73, pp. 111-121. doi: 10.1016/