Journal of Bioprocessing & Biotechniques

ISSN: 2155-9821

Open Access

The Effect of Hydrolysis and Protein Source on the Efficacy of Protein Hydrolysates as Plant Resistance Inducers against Powdery Mildew


Martina Cappelletti, Michele Perazzolli, Andrea Nesler, Oscar Giovannini and Ilaria Pertot

The substitution of synthetic chemical pesticides has become a priority in agriculture and the induction of plant resistance by protein hydrolysates may offer a sustainable alternative. The protein source, method and degree of hydrolysis, as well as the amino acid and peptide composition may affect the efficacy of protein hydrolysates in protecting plants against pathogens. The aim of this work was to clarify the effect of enzymatic and acid hydrolysis on different plant protein sources (soybean, rapeseed and guar protein meal), in terms of efficacy against the powdery mildew of courgette plants (caused by Podosphaera xanthii). The enzymatic hydrolysates were obtained by incubating each protein suspension with a measured amount of Alcalase or Flavourzyme at 50°C for 24 h, in order to obtain an enzyme/substrate ratio of 1% and 50%. The chemical hydrolysates were obtained by acid hydrolysis using 6 N H2SO4 at 121°C for 15 min (6N A), or at 100°C for 8 h (6N B) respectively. Preventive foliar treatments with guar hydrolysates produced with both enzymatic (Alcalase 50% E/S ratio) and chemical (6N B) hydrolysis significantly reduced disease symptoms compared to the non-hydrolysed protein source. A positive correlation was found between efficacy and the degree of hydrolysis of guar acid hydrolysates, suggesting that the hydrolysis method may enhance the functional properties of the original protein source. In addition, positive correlations were found between the efficacy of guar hydrolysates and concentrations of specific peptides and amino acids. In conclusion, our results showed that the biocontrol effect of plant protein hydrolysates was related to the original protein source and two specific hydrolysis processes improved the functional properties of guar, producing peptide fragments and free amino acids that may be involved in the regulation of innate immune response in plants.


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