Bioinformatics-Coupled Molecular Approaches for Unravelling Potential Antimicrobial Peptides Coding Genes in Brazilian Native and Crop Plant Species

Author(s): Maria Clara Pestana-Calsa , Isadora L. A. C. Ribeiro , Tercilio Calsa Jr. .

Journal Name: Current Protein & Peptide Science

Volume 11 , Issue 3 , 2010

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As eukaryotes, plants include in innate defense antimicrobial peptides (AMP), usually small cysteine or glycine- rich peptides effective against a wide range of pathogens. The main classes of AMPs are represented by α/β- defensins, lipid-transfer proteins, thionins, cyclotides, snakins and hevein-like, according to amino acid sequence homology. In spite of increasing number of described AMPs from plants, last decade advances in methodologies for gene expression and the huge amounts of genomic, proteomic and other “-omics” data lead to new prospection strategies of novel potential candidates. Organised user-friendly databases are available to be searched and enlarged with newly discovered plant-derived AMPs. Bioinformatics has allowed the application of in silico-associated molecular tools aiming to screen and identify genes coding for these peptides, starting from genome, transcriptomes, proteome or metabolome from various cultivated or wild plants. As expected, crop plants have been the main target for AMP research and application, also because the higher availability of molecular data. However, wild plant species biodiversity and results for AMP search have increased the importance of characterization in native plants. Enormous plant diversity in Brazilian ecosystems summed to croplands provides potential targets to identify novel candidates for plant AMP. Despite these opportunities, bioinformatics tools are restricted to species whose “-omics” are available, otherwise only heterology-based analyses are feasible, as it has been the case of most Brazilian plant AMP prospection research groups. Still rare, but promising results indicate that this research field on Brazilian crop/native species presents a growing trend of application in agriculture, medicine and industry.

Keywords: Plant antimicrobial peptides, bioinformatics, Brazilian crop, native species

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Article Details

Year: 2010
Page: [199 - 209]
Pages: 11
DOI: 10.2174/138920310791112138
Price: $58

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