, Volume 62, Issue 2, pp 125–138 | Cite as

Biofungicide utilizations of antifungal proteins of filamentous ascomycetes: current and foreseeable future developments

  • Éva Leiter
  • Tamás Gáll
  • László Csernoch
  • István Pócsi


Today’s dearth of effective antimicrobial agents can be overcome by the use of antimicrobial proteins, which are produced naturally by a wide range of organisms including microorganisms, plants and mammals. These small basic proteins are highly stable, easy to manufacture on a large scale, and any resistance against them develops only rarely. These proteins are therefore good candidates for the treatment and prevention of various fungal infections. Importantly, these protein-based antimycotics can even be expressed heterologously in suitable organisms and can be used for various agricultural purposes in the future including biocontrol applications. In this review, we summarize today’s knowledge on the sources, structures, large-scale productions, direct surface applications as well as on the heterologous expressions in host plants of the small molecular mass antifungal proteins produced by filamentous fungi. Future developments foreseeable in this promising area of antifungal protein research are also presented and discussed in this review.


Biofungicide Antifungal protein Heterologous expression Agricultural utilization 



The authors are indebted to Dr. Mattia Joan Plubell for editing the English of the paper. This work was financed by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA K100464).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Éva Leiter
    • 1
  • Tamás Gáll
    • 2
  • László Csernoch
    • 3
  • István Pócsi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biotechnology and Microbiology, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversity of DebrecenDebrecenHungary
  2. 2.MTA-DE Vascular Biology, Thrombosis and Hemostasis Research GroupHungarian Academy of SciencesDebrecenHungary
  3. 3.Department of Physiology, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of DebrecenDebrecenHungary

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