Botrytis cinerea (grey mould) has a large arsenal of molecular pumps at its disposal to protect it against toxic substances such as antibiotics, plant defence compounds and fungicides. Dutch researcher Henk-jan Schoonbeek saw how the fungus started to pump out certain toxic substances within just 15 minutes.
Botrytis cinerea causes rot in fruit and vegetables and is therefore a major problem for growers in horticulture and viniculture. Unfortunately, it is scarcely affected by natural or synthetic protective compounds, as it uses minute protein pumps (so-called ABC transporters) to pump these back out again.
When the fungus comes into contact with toxic substances, these initially enter it unhindered. About 15 minutes later, an emergency mechanism starts up and the fungus secretes the toxic substances so that their concentration in the fungus falls below the lethal dose.
Dr Henk-jan Schoonbeek | alfa
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