Bromelain, a cysteine protease from pineapple (Ananas comosus) stem, is an inhibitor of fungal plant pathogens.Lett Appl Microbiol 2012; 55(1):62-7LA
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of bromelain, a cysteine protease isolated from pineapple (Ananas comosus), on growth of several agronomically important fungal pathogens.
METHODS AND RESULTS
Purification of bromelain from pineapple stems was carried out by chromatography techniques, and its antimicrobial activity was tested against the fungal pathogens Fusarium verticillioides, Fusarium oxysporum and Fusarium proliferatum by broth microdilution assay. A concentration of 0.3 μmol l(-1) of bromelain was sufficient for 90% growth inhibition of F. verticillioides. The capability of bromelain to inhibit fungal growth is related to its proteolytic activity.
The study demonstrates that stem bromelain exhibits a potent antifungal activity against phytopathogens and suggests its potential use as an effective agent for crop protection.
SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY
The results support the use of a natural protease that accumulates at high levels in pineapple stems as alternative to the use of chemical fungicides for crop protection.