Bacteriocins Targeting Gram-Negative Phytopathogenic Bacteria: Plantibiotics of the Future


Gram-negative phytopathogenic bacteria are a significant threat to food crops. These microbial invaders are responsible for a plethora of plant diseases and can be responsible for devastating losses in crops such as tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, olives, and rice. Current disease management strategies to mitigate yield losses involve the application of chemicals which are often harmful to both human health and the environment. Bacteriocins are small proteinaceous antibiotics produced by bacteria to kill closely related bacteria and thereby establish dominance within a niche. They potentially represent a safer alternative to chemicals when used in the field. Bacteriocins typically show a high degree of selectivity toward their targets with no off-target effects. This review outlines the current state of research on bacteriocins active against Gram-negative phytopathogenic bacteria. Furthermore, we will examine the feasibility of weaponizing bacteriocins for use as a treatment for bacterial plant diseases.

Authors: William M Rooney, Ray Chai, Joel J Milner, Daniel Walker
; Full Source: Frontiers in microbiology 2020 Sep 18;11:575981. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.575981.