What is it about?

Here we used a rational discovery process to find polymers that are resistant to fungal attachment. We found several highly effective polymers that could be applied to plants without obvious damage that protected the plants from fungal damage. We also found relationships between the polymer chemistry and the degree of protection. We anticipate this discovery process will also be valuable for finding polymer coatings for medical devices that resist fungal attachment.

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Why is it important?

Fungi are responsible for massive amount of damage to food crops and other plants and also cause serious infections in some implanted medical devices. It is desirable to minimise the amount of pesticides required to control fungal attack because of potential toxicity to other organisms and to slow the development of resistance to anti fungal chemicals. The otherwise inert materials discovered stop fungi from attaching to plants and causing damage.

Perspectives

This was a great example of collaboration in a multidisciplinary team that resulted in new knowledge on how to design fungi-resistant coatings for agricultural and medical applications.

Professor Dave A Winkler
La Trobe University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Discovery of (meth)acrylate polymers that resist colonization by fungi associated with pathogenesis and biodeterioration, Science Advances, June 2020, American Association for the Advancement of Science, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba6574.
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