Chitosan in plant protection.

University of Manitoba, Department of Plant Science, 222, Agriculture Building, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2, Canada.
Marine Drugs (Impact Factor: 3.98). 01/2010; 8(4):968-87. DOI: 10.3390/md8040968
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Chitin and chitosan are naturally-occurring compounds that have potential in agriculture with regard to controlling plant diseases. These molecules were shown to display toxicity and inhibit fungal growth and development. They were reported to be active against viruses, bacteria and other pests. Fragments from chitin and chitosan are known to have eliciting activities leading to a variety of defense responses in host plants in response to microbial infections, including the accumulation of phytoalexins, pathogen-related (PR) proteins and proteinase inhibitors, lignin synthesis, and callose formation. Based on these and other proprieties that help strengthen host plant defenses, interest has been growing in using them in agricultural systems to reduce the negative impact of diseases on yield and quality of crops. This review recapitulates the properties and uses of chitin, chitosan, and their derivatives, and will focus on their applications and mechanisms of action during plant-pathogen interactions.

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    ABSTRACT: The effect of chitosan on the development of infection caused by Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) in leaves of Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Samsun has been studied. It was shown that the infectivity and viral coat protein content in leaves inoculated with a mixture of TMV (2 μg/mL) and chitosan (1 mg/mL) were lower in the early period of infection (3 days after inoculation), by 63% and 66% respectively, than in leaves inoculated with TMV only. Treatment of leaves with chitosan 24 h before inoculation with TMV also caused the antiviral effects, but these were less apparent than when the virus and polysaccharide were applied simultaneously. The inhibitory effects of the agent decreased as the infection progressed. Inoculation of leaves with TMV together with chitosan considerably enhanced the activity of hydrolases (proteases, RNases) in the leaves, in comparison with leaves inoculated with TMV alone. Electron microscope assays of phosphotungstic acid (PTA)-stained suspensions from infected tobacco leaves showed that, in addition to the normal TMV particles (18 nm in diameter, 300 nm long), these suspensions contained abnormal (swollen, "thin" and "short") virions. The highest number of abnormal virions was found in suspensions from leaves inoculated with a mixture of TMV and chitosan. Immuno-electron microscopy showed that "thin" virus particles, in contrast to the particles of normal diameter, lost the ability to bind to specifi c antiserum. It seems that the chitosan-induced activation of hydrolases stimulates the intracellular degradation of TMV particles and hence hydrolase activation may be considered to be one of the polysaccharide-mediated cellular defense mechanisms that limit virus accumulation in cells.
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    ABSTRACT: Some alternative control strategies of currently emerging plant diseases are based on the use of resistance inducers. This review highlights the recent advances made in the characterization of natural compounds that induce resistance by a priming mechanism. These include vitamins, chitosans, oligogalacturonides, volatile organic compounds, azelaic and pipecolic acid, among others. Overall, other than providing novel disease control strategies that meet environmental regulations, natural priming agents are valuable tools to help unravel the complex mechanisms underlying the induced resistance (IR) phenomenon. The data presented in this review reflect the novel contributions made from studying these natural plant inducers, with special emphasis placed on hexanoic acid (Hx), proposed herein as a model tool for this research field. Hx is a potent natural priming agent of proven efficiency in a wide range of host plants and pathogens. It can early activate broad-spectrum defenses by inducing callose deposition and the salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) pathways. Later it can prime pathogen-specific responses according to the pathogen's lifestyle. Interestingly, Hx primes redox-related genes to produce an anti-oxidant protective effect, which might be critical for limiting the infection of necrotrophs. Our Hx-IR findings also strongly suggest that it is an attractive tool for the molecular characterization of the plant alarmed state, with the added advantage of it being a natural compound.
    Frontiers in Plant Science 01/2014; 5:488. · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increasing interest is devoted to carbohydrates for their roles in plant immunity. Some of them are elicitors of plant defenses whereas other ones act as signaling molecules in a manner similar to phytohormones. This review first describes the main classes of carbohydrates associated to plant immunity, their role and mode of action. More precisely, the state of the art about perception of “PAMP, MAMP and DAMP type” oligosaccharides is presented and examples of induced defense events are provided. A particular attention is paid to the structure / activity relationships of these compounds. The role of sugars as signaling molecules, especially in plant microbe interactions, is also presented. Secondly, the potentialities and limits of foliar sprays of carbohydrates to stimulate plant immunity for crop protection against diseases are discussed, with focus on the roles of the leaf cuticle and phyllosphere microflora.
    Frontiers in Plant Science 10/2014; 5(592). · 3.60 Impact Factor

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