A novel chitin-binding protein from Moringa oleifera seed with potential for plant disease control

Biopolymers. 2012;98(4):406-15. doi: 10.1002/bip.22068.


A thermostable chitin-binding protein (14.3 kDa) with antifungal activity was isolated from Moringa oleifera seeds by affinity chromatography on chitin followed by ion exchange chromatography. NH(2-) CPAIQRCCQQLRNIQPPCRCCQ (Mo-CBP3) is a glycoprotein with 2.5% sugar, pI 10.8, without hemagglutination, chitinase or beta-glucanase activities. Mo-CBP3 possesses in vitro antifungal activity against the phytopathogenicfungi Fusarium solani, F. oxysporum, Colletotrichum musae and C. gloesporioides. Contrarily, Mo-CBP3 did not affect Pythium oligandrum, an oomycete. At 0.05 mg/ml, Mo-CBP3 showed to be fungistatic against F. solani, but at 0.1 mg/ml Mo-CBP3 behaved as a potent fungicidal agent as it inhibited both the spore germination and mycelial growth of F. solani. Surprisingly, the effect of Mo-CBP3 against spore germination was observed even when the protein was heated at 100 degrees C for 1 h or pretreated with 0.15M N-acetyl-D-glucosamine. Mo-CBP3 inhibited the glucose-stimulated acidification of the incubation medium by F. solani. This is apparently caused by structural plasma membrane disarrangement induced by Mo-CBP3. Altogether, these results suggest that Mo-CBP3 might be involved in plant defense mechanisms and could be used as potential antifungal agent for controlling fungal pathogens in plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / chemistry
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Chitin
  • Fusarium / drug effects
  • Moringa oleifera / chemistry*
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Plant Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry*
  • Plant Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Seeds / chemistry*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Plant Proteins
  • Chitin