Aluminum chloride and sodium metabisulfite have shown high efficacy at low doses in controlling postharvest pathogens on potato tubers. Direct effects of these two salts included the loss of cell membrane integrity in exposed pathogens. In this work, four fungal potato pathogens were studied in order to elucidate the role of membrane lipids and lipid peroxidation in the relative sensitivity of microorganisms exposed to these salts. Inhibition of mycelial growth in these fungi varied considerably and revealed sensitivity groups within the tested fungi. Analysis of fatty acids in these fungi demonstrated that sensitivity was related to high intrinsic fatty acid unsaturation. When exposed to the antifungal salts, sensitive fungi demonstrated a loss of fatty acid unsaturation, which was accompanied by an elevation in malondialdehyde content (a biochemical marker of lipid peroxidation). Our data suggest that aluminum chloride and sodium metabisulfite could induce lipid peroxidation in sensitive fungi, which may promote the ensuing loss of integrity in the plasma membrane. This direct effect on fungal membranes may contribute, at least in part, to the observed antimicrobial effects of these two salts. Copyright
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Department of Chemistry

Avis, T, Michaud, M. (Mélanie), & Tweddell, R.J. (Russell J.). (2007). Role of lipid composition and lipid peroxidation in the sensitivity of fungal plant pathogens to aluminum chloride and sodium metabisulfite. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 73(9), 2820–2824. doi:10.1128/AEM.02849-06