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Plant Pathol J. 2017 Dec;33(6):529-542. doi: 10.5423/PPJ.RW.04.2017.0084. Epub 2017 Dec 1.

Computer-Aided Drug Discovery in Plant Pathology.

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1
Department of Biotechnology, College of Life and Applied Sciences, Yeungnam University, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk 38541, Korea.

Abstract

Control of plant diseases is largely dependent on use of agrochemicals. However, there are widening gaps between our knowledge on plant diseases gained from genetic/mechanistic studies and rapid translation of the knowledge into target-oriented development of effective agrochemicals. Here we propose that the time is ripe for computer-aided drug discovery/design (CADD) in molecular plant pathology. CADD has played a pivotal role in development of medically important molecules over the last three decades. Now, explosive increase in information on genome sequences and three dimensional structures of biological molecules, in combination with advances in computational and informational technologies, opens up exciting possibilities for application of CADD in discovery and development of agrochemicals. In this review, we outline two categories of the drug discovery strategies: structure- and ligand-based CADD, and relevant computational approaches that are being employed in modern drug discovery. In order to help readers to dive into CADD, we explain concepts of homology modelling, molecular docking, virtual screening, and de novo ligand design in structure-based CADD, and pharmacophore modelling, ligand-based virtual screening, quantitative structure activity relationship modelling and de novo ligand design for ligand-based CADD. We also provide the important resources available to carry out CADD. Finally, we present a case study showing how CADD approach can be implemented in reality for identification of potent chemical compounds against the important plant pathogens, Pseudomonas syringae and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides.

KEYWORDS:

agrochemicals; computer-aided drug discovery; control of plant disease; ligand-based CADD; structure-based CADD

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