Biotech Updates

Thanatin Confers Partial Resistance against Aspergillus Infections in Maize

July 22, 2015

Scientists from different research institutions in Germany conducted a study to investigate the effect of anti-microbial peptides on major aflatoxin-producing fungi Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. Results of in vitro assays with different synthetic peptides showed that thanatin from spined soldier bug (Podisus maculiventris) had the greatest potential to eliminate aflatoxin-producing fungi.

Recombinant thanatin was expressed in transgenic maize plants. Infection assayed with maize kernels from the transgenic plants exhibited up to three-fold resistance against Aspergillus infections compared to non-transgenic kernels.

Based on the findings, thanatin expression in transgenic maize is an effective solution to address aflatoxin contamination.

Read the abstract at Transgenic Research journal.