A Selective Toxin produced by Periconia circinata


TOXINS with species and varietal specificity have often been postulated, but so far only one such substance has been isolated from a plant pathogen1. Helminthosporium victoriae, causal agent of a blight of certain oat cultivars, produces an extremely powerful exotoxin which has the same specificity for plants as does the fungus itself. Thus, the Helminthosporium blight is a valuable model for study of the biochemistry of disease. However, there are difficulties; most strains of the fungus give low yields of toxin in vitro, and the compound is very unstable2. Isolation of other selective toxins might overcome such difficulties and should indicate whether or not specific toxins are commonly involved in plant diseases. A second selective toxin which shows promise for further study has now been found.

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  1. 1

    Braun, A. C., and Pringle, R. B., in Plant Pathology: Problems and Progress 1908–1958, edit. by Holton, C. S., 88 (University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1959).

  2. 2

    Pringle, R. B., and Braun, A. C., Phytopathology, 47, 369 (1957).

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    Leukel, R. W., J. Agric. Research, 77, 201 (1948).

  4. 4

    Woolley, D. W., Pringle, R. B., and Braun, A. C., J. Biol. Chem., 197, 409 (1952).

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SCHEFFER, R., PRINGLE, R. A Selective Toxin produced by Periconia circinata. Nature 191, 912–913 (1961). https://doi.org/10.1038/191912a0

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