Clove Essential Oil as an Alternative Approach to Control Postharvest Blue Mold Caused by Penicillium italicum in Citrus Fruit.
ABSTRACT: Penicillium italicum causes blue mold disease and leads to huge economic losses in citrus production. As a natural antifungal agent, clove essential oil (CEO), which is a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) substance, shows strong in vitro activity against fungal pathogens. However, few studies on CEO for controlling postharvest blue mold disease caused by P. italicum in citrus fruit have been reported. Our aims were to investigate the control efficacy and possible mechanisms involved of CEO against P. italicum. In the present study, CEO treatment inhibited the disease development of blue mold when applied at 0.05% to 0.8% (v/v), and with the effective concentration being obtained as 0.4% (v/v). Besides its direct antifungal activity, CEO treatment also spurred a rapid accumulation of H2O2 compared with untreated fruits, which might contribute to enhancing an increase in the activities of defense-related enzymes, such as ?-1,3-glucanase (?-Glu), chitinase (CHI), phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL), peroxidase (POD), polyphenol oxidase (PPO), and lipoxygenase (LOX) in citrus fruit. Results of real time-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) showed that the gene expressions of ?-Glu, CHI, PAL, POD and PPO were up-regulated in CEO-treated fruits. At the same time, CEO treatment led to down-regulated expression of the LOX gene in citrus fruit. Clove essential oil effectively control the disease incidence of blue mold decay in citrus fruit by motivating the host-defense responses, suppressing the malondialdehyde (MDA) accumulation while enhancing the activities and gene expressions of defense-related enzymes. Our study provides an alternative preservative applying CEO to reduce postharvest fungal decay in citrus fruit.
Project description:Nine oxylipin mimics were designed and synthesized starting from d-mannose. Their antifungal activity against three citrus postharvest pathogens was evaluated by spore germination assay. The results indicated that all the compounds significantly inhibited the growth of Penicillium digitatum, Penicillium italicum and Aspergillus niger. The compound (3Z,6Z,8S,9R,10R)-octadeca-3,6-diene-8,9,10-triol (3) exhibited excellent inhibitory effect on both Penicillium digitatum (IC50 = 34 ppm) and Penicillium italicum (IC50 = 94 ppm). Their in vivo antifungal activities against citrus postharvest blue mold were tested with fruit inoculated with the pathogen Penicillium italicum. The compound (3R,4S)-methyl 3,4-dihydroxy-5-octyltetrahydrofuran-2-carboxylate (9) demonstrated significant efficacy by reducing the disease severity to 60%. The antifungal mechanism of these oxylipin mimics was postulated in which both inhibition of pathogenic mycelium and stimuli of the host oxylipin-mediated defense response played important roles.
Project description:Economic losses caused by postharvest diseases represent one of the main problems of the citrus industry worldwide. The major diseases affecting citrus are the "green mold" and "blue mold", caused by Penicillium digitatum and P. italicum, respectively. To control them, synthetic fungicides are the most commonly used method. However, often the emergence of resistant strains occurs and their use is becoming more restricted because of toxic effects and environmental pollution they generate, combined with trade barriers to international markets. The aim of this work was to isolate indigenous killer yeasts with antagonistic activity against fungal postharvest diseases in lemons, and to determine their control efficiency in in vitro and in vivo assays. Among 437 yeast isolates, 8.5% show to have a killer phenotype. According to molecular identification, based on the 26S rDNA D1/D2 domain sequences analysis, strains were identified belonging to the genera Saccharomyces, Wickerhamomyces, Kazachstania, Pichia, Candida and Clavispora. Killers were challenged with pathogenic molds and strains that caused the maximum in vitro inhibition of P. digitatum were selected for in vivo assays. Two strains of Pichia and one strain of Wickerhamomyces depicted a significant protection (p <0.05) from decay by P. digitatum in assays using wounded lemons. Thus, the native killer yeasts studied in this work showed to be an effective alternative for the biocontrol of postharvest fungal infections of lemons and could be promising agents for the development of commercial products for the biological control industry.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Penicillium italicum (blue mold) is one of citrus pathogens causing undesirable citrus fruit decay even at strictly-controlled low temperatures (<?10?°C) during shipping and storage. P. italicum isolates with considerably high resistance to sterol demethylation inhibitor (DMI) fungicides have emerged; however, mechanism(s) underlying such DMI-resistance remains unclear. In contrast to available elucidation on anti-DMI mechanism for P. digitatum (green mold), how P. italicum DMI-resistance develops has not yet been clarified. RESULTS:The present study prepared RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) libraries for two P. italicum strains (highly resistant (Pi-R) versus highly sensitive (Pi-S) to DMI fungicides), with and without prochloraz treatment, to identify prochloraz-responsive genes facilitating DMI-resistance. After 6?h prochloraz-treatment, comparative transcriptome profiling showed more differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in Pi-R than Pi-S. Functional enrichments identified 15 DEGs in the prochloraz-induced Pi-R transcriptome, simultaneously up-regulated in P. italicum resistance. These included ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter-encoding genes, major facilitator superfamily (MFS) transporter-encoding genes, ergosterol (ERG) anabolism component genes ERG2, ERG6 and EGR11 (CYP51A), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling-inducer genes Mkk1 and Hog1, and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase (CaMK) signaling-inducer genes CaMK1 and CaMK2. Fragments Per Kilobase per Million mapped reads (FPKM) analysis of Pi-R transcrtiptome showed that prochloraz induced mRNA increase of additional 4 unigenes, including the other two ERG11 isoforms CYP51B and CYP51C and the remaining kinase-encoding genes (i.e., Bck1 and Slt2) required for Slt2-MAPK signaling. The expression patterns of all the 19 prochloraz-responsive genes, obtained in our RNA-seq data sets, have been validated by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). These lines of evidence in together draw a general portrait of anti-DMI mechanisms for P. italicum species. Intriguingly, some strategies adopted by the present Pi-R were not observed in the previously documented prochloraz-resistant P. digitatum transcrtiptomes. These included simultaneous induction of all major EGR11 isoforms (CYP51A/B/C), over-expression of ERG2 and ERG6 to modulate ergosterol anabolism, and concurrent mobilization of Slt2-MAPK and CaMK signaling processes to overcome fungicide-induced stresses. CONCLUSIONS:The present findings provided transcriptomic evidence on P. italicum DMI-resistance mechanisms and revealed some diversity in anti-DMI strategies between P. italicum and P. digitatum species, contributing to our knowledge on P. italicum DMI-resistance mechanisms.
Project description:More than 40% of harvested fruit is lost, largely due to decay. In parallel, restrictions on postharvest fungicides call for eco-friendly alternatives. Fruit's natural resistance depends mainly on flavonoids and anthocyanins-which have antioxidant and antifungal activity-synthesized from the phenylpropanoid pathway with phenylalanine as a precursor. We hypothesized that phenylalanine could induce fruit's natural defense response and tolerance to fungal pathogens. The postharvest application of phenylalanine to mango and avocado fruit reduced anthracnose and stem-end rot caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides and Lasiodiplodia theobromae, respectively. The postharvest application of phenylalanine to citrus fruit reduced green mold caused by Penicillium digitatum. The optimal phenylalanine concentrations for postharvest application were 6 mM for citrus fruits and 8 mM for mangoes and avocadoes. The preharvest application of phenylalanine to strawberries, mangoes, and citrus fruits also reduced postharvest decay. Interestingly, citrus fruit resistance to P. digitatum inoculated immediately after phenylalanine application was not improved, whereas inoculation performed 2 days after phenylalanine treatment induced the defense response. Five hours after the treatment, no phenylalanine residue was detected on/in the fruit, probably due to rapid phenylalanine metabolism. Additionally, in vitro testing showed no inhibitory effect of phenylalanine on conidial germination. Altogether, we characterized a new inducer of the fruit defense response-phenylalanine. Preharvest or postharvest application to fruit led to the inhibition of fungal pathogen-induced postharvest decay, suggesting that the application of phenylalanine could become an eco-friendly and healthy alternative to fungicides.
Project description:Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of antagonistic yeasts are considered as environmental safe fumigants to promote the resistance and quality of strawberry (Fragaria ananassa). By GC-MS assays, VOCs of Hanseniaspora uvarum (H. uvarum) fumigated strawberry fruit showed increased contents of methyl caproate (5.8%), methyl octanoate (5.1%), and methyl caprylate (10.9%) in postharvest cold storage. Possible mechanisms of H. uvarum VOCs involved in regulations of the defense-related enzymes and substances in strawberry were investigated during postharvest storage in low temperature and high humidity (2 ± 1°C, RH 90%-95%). Defense-related enzymes assays indicated H. uvarum VOCs stimulated the accumulation of CAT, SOD, POD, APX, PPO, and PAL and inhibited biosynthesis of MDA in strawberry fruit under storage condition. Moreover, the expression levels of related key enzyme genes, such as CAT, SOD, APX42, PPO, and PAL6, were consistently increased in strawberry fruit after H. uvarum VOCs fumigation.
Project description:The Dicer protein is one of the most important components of RNAi machinery because it regulates the production of small RNAs (sRNAs) in eukaryotes. Here, Dicer1-like gene (Pit-DCL1) and Dicer2-like gene (Pit-DCL2) RNAi transformants were generated via pSilent-1 in Penicillium italicum (Pit), which is the causal agent of citrus blue mold. Neither transformant showed a change in mycelial growth or sporulation ability, but the pathogenicity of the Pit-DCL2 RNAi transformant to citrus fruits was severely impaired, compared to that of the Pit-DCL1 RNAi transformant and the wild type. We further developed a citrus wound-mediated RNAi approach with a double-stranded fragment of Pit-DCL2 generated in vitro, which achieved an efficiency in reducing Pi-Dcl2 expression and virulence that was similar to that of protoplast-mediated RNAi in P. italicum, suggesting that this approach is promising in the exogenous application of dsRNA to control pathogens on the surface of citrus fruits. In addition, sRNA sequencing revealed a total of 69.88 million potential sRNAs and 12 novel microRNA-like small RNAs (milRNAs), four of which have been predicated on target innate immunity or biotic stress-related genes in Valencia orange. These data suggest that both the Pit-DCL1 and Pit-DCL2 RNAi transformants severely disrupted the biogenesis of the potential milRNAs, which was further confirmed for some milRNAs by qRT-PCR or Northern blot analysis. These data suggest the sRNAs in P. italicum that may be involved in a molecular virulence mechanism termed cross-kingdom RNAi (ck-RNAi) by trafficking sRNA from P. italicum to citrus fruits.
Project description:Pathogenic fungi including Penicillium digitatum and Penicillium italicum are the main destructive pathogens in the citrus industry, causing great losses during postharvest process. To our knowledge, only one mycovirus from P. digitatum has been reported, and the prevalence of such mycoviruses against citrus postharvest pathogenic fungi and their genotyping were still under investigation. In the present study, we showed that 39 of 152 Penicillium isolates from main citrus-growing areas in China were infected with various mycoviruses belonging to polymycoviruses, Narna-like viruses, and families Totiviridae, Partitivirdae and Chrysoviridae. The next generation sequencing (NGS) towards virus genome library and the following molecular analysis revealed two novel mycoviruses Penicillium digitatum polymycovirus 1 (PdPmV1) and Penicillium digitatum Narna-like virus 1 (PdNLV1), coexisting in P. digitatum strain HS-RH2. The fungicide-resistant P. digitatum strains HS-F6 and HS-E9 coinfected by PdPmV1 and PdNLV1 exhibited obvious reduction in triazole drug prochloraz resistance by mycelial growth analysis on both PDA plates and citrus fruit epidermis with given prochloraz concentration. This report at the first time characterized two novel mycoviruses from P. digitatum and revealed the mycovirus-induced reduction of fungicide resistance.
Project description:2, 4-Diacetylphloroglucinol (2,4-DAPG), a natural phenolic compound, has been investigated in light of its biological activities against plant pathogens. To improve its potential application, fourteen 2,4-DAPG analogous were synthesized through the Friedel-Crafts reaction using acyl chlorides and phloroglucinol. Of the 2,4-DAPG derivatives, MP4 exhibited much higher antifungal activity against Penicillium digitatum and P. italicum, the major pathogenic fungi in citrus fruit, than 2, 4-DAPG in vitro, and significantly inhibited the development of decay in harvested mandarin (Citrus reticulata Blanco cv. Shatang.) fruit in vivo. It was found that MP4 resulted in the wrinkle of the hyphae in both fungi with serious folds and breakage. In addition, the expression of several cytochrome P450 (CYP) genes were also modified in both fungi by MP4, which might be associated with the disorder of cell membrane formation. Furthermore, the toxicology of MP4 by evaluating the cell proliferation effect on human normal lung epithelial (16HBE) and kidney 293 (HEK293) cells, was significantly lower than that of albesilate, a widely used fungicide in harvested citrus fruit. In summary, the synthesized MP4 has shown a great potential as a novel fungicide that might be useful for control of postharvest decay in citrus fruit.
Project description:Polyphenol oxidase (PPO) plays a key role in the postharvest pericarp browning of litchi fruit, but its underlying mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we cloned the litchi PPO gene (LcPPO, JF926153), and described its expression patterns. The LcPPO cDNA sequence was 2120 bps in length with an open reading frame (ORF) of 1800 bps. The ORF encoded a polypeptide with 599 amino acid residues, sharing high similarities with other plant PPO. The DNA sequence of the ORF contained a 215-bp intron. After carrying out quantitative RT-PCR, we proved that the LcPPO expression was tissue-specific, exhibiting the highest level in the flower and leaf. In the pericarp of newly-harvested litchi fruits, the LcPPO expression level was relatively high compared with developing fruits. Regardless of the litchi cultivar and treatment conditions, the LcPPO expression level and the PPO activity in pericarp of postharvest fruits exhibited the similar variations. When the fruits were stored at room temperature without packaging, all the pericarp browning index, PPO activity and the LcPPO expression level of litchi pericarps were reaching the highest in Nandaowuhe (the most rapid browning cultivar), but the lowest in Ziniangxi (the slowest browning cultivar) within 2 d postharvest. Preserving the fruits of Feizixiao in 0.2-?m plastic bag at room temperature would decrease the rate of pericarp water loss, delay the pericarp browning, and also cause the reduction of the pericarp PPO activity and LcPPO expression level within 3 d postharvest. In addition, postharvest storage of Feizixiao fruit stored at 4°C delayed the pericarp browning while decreasing the pericarp PPO activity and LcPPO expression level within 2 d after harvest. Thus, we concluded that the up-regulation of LcPPO expression in pericarp at early stage of postharvest storage likely enhanced the PPO activity and further accelerated the postharvest pericarp browning of litchi fruit.
Project description:Fungal rots are one of the main causes of large economic losses and deterioration in the quality and nutrient composition of fruits during the postharvest stage. The yeast Clavispora lusitaniae 146 has previously been shown to efficiently protect lemons from green mold caused by Penicillium digitatum. In this work, the effect of yeast concentration and exposure time on biocontrol efficiency was assessed; the protection of various citrus fruits against P. digitatum by C. lusitaniae 146 was evaluated; the ability of strain 146 to degrade mycotoxin patulin was tested; and the effect of the treatment on the sensory properties of fruits was determined. An efficient protection of lemons was achieved after minimum exposure to a relatively low yeast cell concentration. Apart from lemons, the yeast prevented green mold in grapefruits, mandarins, oranges, and tangerines, implying that it can be used as a broad-range biocontrol agent in citrus. The ability to degrade patulin indicated that strain 146 may be suitable for the control of further Penicillium species. Yeast treatment did not alter the sensory perception of the aroma of fruits. These results corroborate the potential of C. lusitaniae 146 for the control of postharvest diseases of citrus fruits and indicate its suitability for industrial-scale fruit processing.