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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