Legumes Protease Inhibitors as Biopesticides and Their Defense Mechanisms against Biotic Factors


Lucio Rodríguez-Sifuentes 1, Jolanta Elzbieta Marszalek 1, Cristina Chuck-Hernández 2,* and Sergio O. Serna-Saldívar 2

1 Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Coahuila, Carretera Torreón-Matamoros Km 7.5,
Torreón Coahuila 27104, Mexico
2 Tecnológico de Monterrey, School of Engineering and Sciences, Eugenio Garza Sada 2501, Col. Tecnológico,
Monterrey Nuevo León 64849, Mexico

* cristina.chuck@tec.mx

Legumes are affected by biotic factors such as insects, molds, bacteria, and viruses. These plants can produce many different molecules in response to the attack of phytopathogens. Protease inhibitors (PIs) are proteins produced by legumes that inhibit the protease activity of phytopathogens. PIs are known to reduce nutrient availability, which diminishes pathogen growth and can lead to the death of the pathogen. PIs are classified according to the specificity of the mechanistic activity of the proteolytic enzymes, with serine and cysteine protease inhibitors being studied the most. Previous investigations have reported the ecacy of these highly stable proteins against diverse biotic factors and the concomitant protective efects in crops, representing a possible replacement of toxic agrochemicals that harm the environment.

Legumes Protease Inhibitors as Biopesticides and