Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC)

, Volume 139, Issue 1, pp 1–15 | Cite as

Antimicrobial peptides as effective tools for enhanced disease resistance in plants

  • Aneela Iqbal
  • Raham Sher KhanEmail author
  • Kashmala Shehryar
  • Anum Imran
  • Faryal Ali
  • Syeda Attia
  • Shahen Shah
  • Masahiro Mii


Plants being exposed to a variety of pathogenic infections, acquire the natural mechanism of combating the pathogens leading to an increased level of defense. Several pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins are expressed by plants; approximately 17 families have been discovered till now. Most of them confer resistance to fungal pathogens and some of the PR proteins are bactericidal. These PR proteins consist of a short sequence of amino acids thus called antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). These AMPs permeabilize the pathogenic membrane via pore formation leading to cell death. The specific characteristic of these peptides is conserved domain and the disulfide bond pattern. Several types of AMPs such as defensins, thionins, cyclotides, lipid transfer proteins (LTPs) and several others, with a diverse mode of action, have been characterized from different plant species. These AMPs have been playing an important role in the host plant’s defense against the pathogens. In this review we summarized types of AMPs, their structural conformation and mode of action, their expression and co-expression in transgenic plants for conferring elevated resistance against the phytopathogens.


Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) Defensins Thionins Cyclotides LTPs Disease resistance 


Author contributions

AI, compiled headings and subheadings of the collected research articles, and wrote the manuscript with support from KS, AI, FA and SA. RSK, checked the manuscript time to time for improvement. SS, had a look on the manuscript for sequence of the headings and subheadings. MM, finally reviewed and approved for submission.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aneela Iqbal
    • 1
  • Raham Sher Khan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kashmala Shehryar
    • 1
  • Anum Imran
    • 1
  • Faryal Ali
    • 1
  • Syeda Attia
    • 1
  • Shahen Shah
    • 2
  • Masahiro Mii
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyAbdul Wali Khan University MardanMardanPakistan
  2. 2.Department of AgronomyThe University of AgriculturePeshawarPakistan
  3. 3.Graduate School of HorticultureChiba UniversityChibaJapan

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