Published online by Cambridge University Press: 31 March 2017
Plant defence systems can be induced by biotic and abiotic stress. Experiments were undertaken to explore the feasibility of different fungal proteins for the reduction of vegetable diseases. Total proteins purified from three soil-borne and five foliar fungal pathogens had no fungistatic effects nor did they trigger hypersensitive reactions on test plants. The abilities to promote plant growth and to reduce disease severity varied among test proteins and plants. Depending on test proteins, experiments have demonstrated that exogenous application of fungal proteins could reduce Alternaria brassicicola-induced black spot severity on cabbage, Colletotrichum spp.-induced anthracnose on Chinese cabbage and cucumber, Rhizoctonia solani-induced damping-off on sweet pepper and Chinese cabbage, and powdery mildew on cucumber seedlings. An Alternaria protein effector 1 (Ape1)-coding gene was cloned from two Alternaria spp. and expressed in Escherichia coli. The expressed Ape1 reduced anthracnose incidence on cucumber leaves, indicating that Ape1 was the primary activator in the crude protein extracts responsible for disease reduction. Application of Alternaria proteins onto Chinese cabbage seedlings caused an increase of phenylalanine ammonia lyase and peroxidase activities in treated seedlings, which may have played a role in host defence.