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J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Oct;49(10):4732-42.

Antifungal proteins and other mechanisms in the control of sorghum stalk rot and grain mold.

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  • 1Cereal Quality Laboratory, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-2474, USA.


Research on antifungal proteins and other mechanisms that provide the biochemical basis for host-plant resistance to stalk rot and grain molds is reviewed in this paper. Stalk rot caused by Fusarium species leads to substantial yield loss due to poor grain filling and/or lodging. A transgenic sorghum expressing high levels of chitinase exhibited less stalk rot development when exposed to conidia of F. thapsinum. Grain mold of sorghum is associated with warm humid environments and results from colonization by several fungi (F. thapsinum, Curvularia lunata, and Alternaria alternata) of the developing caryopsis. The roles of several biochemical mechanisms (tannins, phenolic compounds, red pericarp, proteins, hard endosperm, and antifungal proteins) on grain mold resistance are discussed. Resistance mechanisms related to these compounds appear to be additive, and pyramiding of genes is a feasible approach to limit grain deterioration. Several experimental approaches are proposed to extend current findings.

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