[Effect of the molecular weight of chitosan on its antiviral activity in plants]

Prikl Biokhim Mikrobiol. 2006 Mar-Apr;42(2):224-8.
[Article in Russian]


The effect of the molecular weight of chitosan on its ability to suppress systemic infection of bean mild mosaic virus in bean (Phasoleus vulgaris L.) plants was studied. The enzymatic hydrolysate of low-molecular-weight chitosan was successively fractionated by ultrafiltration through membranes with decreasing pore size. In total, four chitosan fractions with a weight-average molecular weight varying from 1.2 to 40.4 kDa were obtained. It was shown that the treatments of bean plants with these fractions (chitosan concentration, 10 or 100 microg/ml) inhibited virus accumulation and systemic propagation. The degree of chitosan-induced antiviral resistance increased as the molecular weight of chitosan decreased. The monomers comprising the chitosan molecule-glucosamine and N-acetylglucosamine--exhibited no antiviral activity.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Acetylglucosamine / chemistry
  • Antiviral Agents / chemistry
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Chitosan / chemistry
  • Chitosan / pharmacology*
  • Glucosamine / chemistry
  • Molecular Weight
  • Phaseolus / virology*
  • Plant Diseases / virology*
  • Plant Viruses / drug effects*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Chitosan
  • Glucosamine
  • Acetylglucosamine