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J. Fungi 2016, 2(1), 11; doi:10.3390/jof2010011

Omics for Investigating Chitosan as an Antifungal and Gene Modulator

Laboratory of Plant Pathology, Multidisciplinary Institute for Environmental Studies (MIES) Ramon Margalef, Department of Marine Sciences and Applied Biology, University of Alicante, E-03080 Alicante, Spain
Present address: School of Biosciences, University of Exeter, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QD, UK
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Academic Editor: David S. Perlin
Received: 12 January 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2016 / Accepted: 24 February 2016 / Published: 3 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal '-Omics': Is the Best Yet to Come?)
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Abstract

Chitosan is a biopolymer with a wide range of applications. The use of chitosan in clinical medicine to control infections by fungal pathogens such as Candida spp. is one of its most promising applications in view of the reduced number of antifungals available. Chitosan increases intracellular oxidative stress, then permeabilizes the plasma membrane of sensitive filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa and yeast. Transcriptomics reveals plasma membrane homeostasis and oxidative metabolism genes as key players in the response of fungi to chitosan. A lipase and a monosaccharide transporter, both inner plasma membrane proteins, and a glutathione transferase are main chitosan targets in N. crassa. Biocontrol fungi such as Pochonia chlamydosporia have a low content of polyunsaturated free fatty acids in their plasma membranes and are resistant to chitosan. Genome sequencing of P. chlamydosporia reveals a wide gene machinery to degrade and assimilate chitosan. Chitosan increases P. chlamydosporia sporulation and enhances parasitism of plant parasitic nematodes by the fungus. Omics studies allow understanding the mode of action of chitosan and help its development as an antifungal and gene modulator. View Full-Text
Keywords: chitosan; transcriptomics; genomics; gene modulator; antifungal; biocontrol fungi (BCF) chitosan; transcriptomics; genomics; gene modulator; antifungal; biocontrol fungi (BCF)
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Lopez-Moya, F.; Lopez-Llorca, L.V. Omics for Investigating Chitosan as an Antifungal and Gene Modulator. J. Fungi 2016, 2, 11.

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