Narrow spectrum antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of soft-rot plant disease

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Inst of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sci


Worldwide losses to plant diseases are conservatively estimated at approximately US$150 bn, of which about one third are attributable to bacterial infections. In many cases, good sources of resistance for breeding are not available and the chemicals used to prevent spoilage are increasingly being deemed environmentally unacceptable. We propose a radical new approach to address this problem that exploits the narrow killing spectrum of bacteriocins, potent naturally produced protein antibiotics that can be selected and deployed to target a specific pathogen while leaving the wider plant and soil associated microbiomes intact. In this project, we will identify, produce and test the efficacy in plant infection models of bacteriocins that target soft-rot plant pathogenic bacteria such as species of Pectobacterium. These bacteria cause disease in a range of economically important crops. To achieve this will utilize and provide training in computation biology for genome and phylogenetic analysis, molecular biology, protein production and plant pathology. This work will underpin our long-term vision to utilize diverse bacteriocins for precision targeting of phytopathogenic bacteria, providing a sustainable and practical solution for the prevention and treatment of these recalcitrant plant diseases.




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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/X010902/1 30/09/2023 29/09/2028
2904356 Studentship BB/X010902/1 30/09/2023 29/09/2027