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Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry

Plant chitinase as a possible biocontrol agent for use instead of chemical fungicides.


PMID 12619703

Abstract

We investigated whether a plant chitinase can be used as a biocontrol agent instead of chemical fungicides by spraying chitinase E (family 19; class IV) from a yam (Dioscorea opposita Thunb) alone or together with beta-1,3-glucanase directly onto the surface of a powdery mildew infecting strawberry berries and leaves. Results were observed by eye and with a scanning electron microscope. The powdery mildew infecting the strawberries was degraded, mainly by the chitinase, and the disease did not appear again for more than 2 weeks. These results indicated that this kind of plant chitinase might be safe and biodegradable biocontrol agent for use instead of conventional fungicides.