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The Emerging Role of Antimicrobial Peptides in the Agro-Food Sector

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2022) | Viewed by 9008

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
LAQV-REQUIMTE, Departamento de Química e Bioquímica, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal
Interests: antimicrobial agents; antiparasitic agents; computational chemistry; heterocycle chemistry; peptide-based biopesticides; peptide synthesis
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The growing relevance of peptides in many areas of industrial and academic R&D is undeniable. After the two previous editions of Special Issues in Molecules devoted to bioactive peptides, namely, “Peptide-Based Drugs and Drug Delivery Systems”, and “Bioactive Peptides – from Therapy to Nutrition”, it is time to bring the emergent role of peptides in the agro-food sector into the spotlight. Antimicrobial peptides are particularly relevant, for their potential role as bio- and eco-friendly alternatives to (i) pesticides used against plant diseases affecting economically relevant crops, (ii) antibiotics used on livestock, and (iii) food preservatives, including those in food casings or coatings.

The continuous need to increase food production to cope with the incessant demographic growth maintains pressure on the intensive use of pesticides, antibiotics, and biocidal preservatives in the agro-food sector; nonetheless, the toll of their use, and also misuse, has been quite heavy, namely, regarding pathogen resistance issues, as well as accumulation of residues in the environment that, especially in the case of pesticides, has been related to mass killings of nonhuman biota, including microbial organisms, fish, amphibians, insects, birds, and small mammals. Moreover, some of the toxins produced by microbial organisms arise from metabolic degradation of pesticides, fertilizers, and other additives, which make food products uneatable or even dangerous. Consequently, application of pesticides and other synthetic biocides is under heavy restrictions and strict regulatory requirements, and there is an increasingly incisive global campaign to search for more natural and biocompatible antimicrobial agents to use in the agro-food sector. Peptides may be of chief importance in this quest. As such, we invite all those working or interested in this particular field of research to contribute to this Special Issue, which will be an up-to-date collection of works, either original or literature reviews, highlighting the relevance of antimicrobial peptides in agriculture and food science and technology.

Prof. Dr. Paula A. C. Gomes
Prof. Dr. Stefania Galdiero
Dr. Cátia Teixeira
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Antimicrobial peptides
  • Crop protection
  • Edible coatings and casings
  • Food spoilage
  • Plant pathogens

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

14 pages, 1290 KiB  
Article
A Bifunctional Peptide Conjugate That Controls Infections of Erwinia amylovora in Pear Plants
by Pau Caravaca-Fuentes, Cristina Camó, Àngel Oliveras, Aina Baró, Jesús Francés, Esther Badosa, Marta Planas, Lidia Feliu, Emilio Montesinos and Anna Bonaterra
Molecules 2021, 26(11), 3426; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113426 - 05 Jun 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2647
Abstract
In this paper, peptide conjugates were designed and synthesized by incorporating the antimicrobial undecapeptide BP16 at the C- or N-terminus of the plant defense elicitor peptide flg15, leading to BP358 and BP359, respectively. The evaluation of their in vitro activity against [...] Read more.
In this paper, peptide conjugates were designed and synthesized by incorporating the antimicrobial undecapeptide BP16 at the C- or N-terminus of the plant defense elicitor peptide flg15, leading to BP358 and BP359, respectively. The evaluation of their in vitro activity against six plant pathogenic bacteria revealed that BP358 displayed MIC values between 1.6 and 12.5 μM, being more active than flg15, BP16, BP359, and an equimolar mixture of BP16 and flg15. Moreover, BP358 was neither hemolytic nor toxic to tobacco leaves. BP358 triggered the overexpression of 6 out of the 11 plant defense-related genes tested. Interestingly, BP358 inhibited Erwinia amylovora infections in pear plants, showing slightly higher efficacy than the mixture of BP16 and flg15, and both treatments were as effective as the antibiotic kasugamycin. Thus, the bifunctional peptide conjugate BP358 is a promising agent to control fire blight and possibly other plant bacterial diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Emerging Role of Antimicrobial Peptides in the Agro-Food Sector)
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21 pages, 6585 KiB  
Article
A Synergic Potential of Antimicrobial Peptides against Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae
by Nuno Mariz-Ponte, Laura Regalado, Emil Gimranov, Natália Tassi, Luísa Moura, Paula Gomes, Fernando Tavares, Conceição Santos and Cátia Teixeira
Molecules 2021, 26(5), 1461; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26051461 - 08 Mar 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3173
Abstract
Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) is the pathogenic agent responsible for the bacterial canker of kiwifruit (BCK) leading to major losses in kiwifruit productions. No effective treatments and measures have yet been found to control this disease. Despite antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) having been [...] Read more.
Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) is the pathogenic agent responsible for the bacterial canker of kiwifruit (BCK) leading to major losses in kiwifruit productions. No effective treatments and measures have yet been found to control this disease. Despite antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) having been successfully used for the control of several pathogenic bacteria, few studies have focused on the use of AMPs against Psa. In this study, the potential of six AMPs (BP100, RW-BP100, CA-M, 3.1, D4E1, and Dhvar-5) to control Psa was investigated. The minimal inhibitory and bactericidal concentrations (MIC and MBC) were determined and membrane damaging capacity was evaluated by flow cytometry analysis. Among the tested AMPs, the higher inhibitory and bactericidal capacity was observed for BP100 and CA-M with MIC of 3.4 and 3.4–6.2 µM, respectively and MBC 3.4–10 µM for both. Flow cytometry assays suggested a faster membrane permeation for peptide 3.1, in comparison with the other AMPs studied. Peptide mixtures were also tested, disclosing the high efficiency of BP100:3.1 at low concentration to reduce Psa viability. These results highlight the potential interest of AMP mixtures against Psa, and 3.1 as an antimicrobial molecule that can improve other treatments in synergic action. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Emerging Role of Antimicrobial Peptides in the Agro-Food Sector)
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14 pages, 2748 KiB  
Article
Study on the Inhibitory Activity of a Synthetic Defensin Derived from Barley Endosperm against Common Food Spoilage Yeast
by Laila N. Shwaiki, Aylin W. Sahin and Elke K. Arendt
Molecules 2021, 26(1), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010165 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2191
Abstract
In the food industry, food spoilage is a real issue that can lead to a significant amount of waste. Although current preservation techniques are being applied to reduce the occurrence of spoilage microorganisms, the problem persists. Food spoilage yeast are part of this [...] Read more.
In the food industry, food spoilage is a real issue that can lead to a significant amount of waste. Although current preservation techniques are being applied to reduce the occurrence of spoilage microorganisms, the problem persists. Food spoilage yeast are part of this dilemma, with common spoilers such as Zygosaccharomyces, Kluyveromyces, Debaryomyces and Saccharomyces frequently encountered. Antimicrobial peptides derived from plants have risen in popularity due to their ability to reduce spoilage. This study examines the potential application of a synthetic defensin peptide derived from barley endosperm. Its inhibitory effect against common spoilage yeasts, its mechanisms of action (membrane permeabilisation and overproduction of reactive oxygen species), and its stability in different conditions were characterised. The safety of the peptide was evaluated through a haemolysis and cytotoxicity assay, and no adverse effects were found. Both assays were performed to understand the effect of the peptide if it were to be consumed. Its ability to be degraded by a digestive enzyme was also examined for its safety. Finally, the peptide was successfully applied to different beverages and maintained the same inhibitory effects in apple juice as was observed in the antiyeast assays, providing further support for its application in food preservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Emerging Role of Antimicrobial Peptides in the Agro-Food Sector)
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