Antifungal action

Sonia Rip­pa, a research engi­neer at UTC, is respon­si­ble for the ‘Bio­con­trol and Neo­phy­tosan­i­tary’ course in the Biotech­nol­o­gy of Nat­ur­al Resources Master’s degree. In the Enzyme and Cel­lu­lar Engi­neer­ing (UTC-GEC) lab­o­ra­to­ry, she works in par­tic­u­lar on rapeseed.

Rape­seed is grown in France on more than 1.5 mil­lion hectares, or 5% of the French agri­cul­tur­al area, mak­ing it a major crop. As Europe’s lead­ing oilseed crop, it can be con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed by scle­ro­tinia, the dom­i­nant dis­ease, from the start of flow­er­ing and through­out the flow­er­ing period.

One of the areas of research focus­es on the anti­fun­gal action of rham­no­lipids and fengycins, nat­ur­al mol­e­cules pro­duced by bacteria.

Two PhD the­ses are cur­rent­ly under­way on this sub­ject. The aim of his research? “Both rham­no­lipids and fengycins have prop­er­ties that stim­u­late plant defences, as well as direct anti­fun­gal prop­er­ties. With this work, we’re try­ing to under­stand the mech­a­nism that makes a par­tic­u­lar fun­gus more sen­si­tive to one or oth­er of these mol­e­cules, and why”, she says.

Which plant path­o­gen­ic fun­gi are we study­ing? “They are scle­ro­tinia, the dom­i­nant dis­ease of oilseed rape known as white rot, and botry­tis, or grey rot. These are two fun­gi belong­ing to the same fam­i­ly, but we’re real­is­ing that what works on one does­n’t work on the oth­er. So we can only pro­pose effec­tive solu­tions if we under­stand why”, she explains. 

Le magazine

Novembre 2023 - N°61

Activité physique, nutrition & santé

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