3 Biotech

, 9:192 | Cite as

Plant defensins: types, mechanism of action and prospects of genetic engineering for enhanced disease resistance in plants

  • Raham Sher KhanEmail author
  • Aneela Iqbal
  • Radia Malak
  • Kashmala Shehryar
  • Syeda Attia
  • Talaat Ahmed
  • Mubarak Ali Khan
  • Muhammad Arif
  • Masahiro Mii
Review Article


Natural antimicrobial peptides have been shown as one of the important tools to combat certain pathogens and play important role as a part of innate immune system in plants and, also adaptive immunity in animals. Defensin is one of the antimicrobial peptides with a diverse nature of mechanism against different pathogens like viruses, bacteria and fungi. They have a broad function in humans, vertebrates, invertebrates, insects, and plants. Plant defensins primarily interact with membrane lipids for their biological activity. Several antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been overexpressed in plants for enhanced disease protection. The plants defensin peptides have been efficiently employed as an effective strategy for control of diseases in plants. They can be successfully integrated in plants genome along with some other peptide genes in order to produce transgenic crops for enhanced disease resistance. This review summarizes plant defensins, their expression in plants and enhanced disease resistance potential against phytopathogens.


Plant defensins Genetic engineering Disease resistance Pathogens 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raham Sher Khan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aneela Iqbal
    • 1
  • Radia Malak
    • 1
  • Kashmala Shehryar
    • 1
  • Syeda Attia
    • 1
  • Talaat Ahmed
    • 2
  • Mubarak Ali Khan
    • 1
  • Muhammad Arif
    • 1
  • Masahiro Mii
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyAbdul Wali Khan University MardanMardanPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and ScienceQatar UniversityDohaQatar
  3. 3.Center for Environment, Health and Field SciencesChiba University JapanChibaJapan

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