Filamentous fungi are a tremendous source of valuable bioactive natural products, also known as secondary metabolites. Modern medicine relies on the use of these natural compounds to treat infections, diseases and health disorders. Common examples are the antibiotics cephalosporins and penicillins. Fungi infecting plants are also able to produce toxic compounds which destroy plants. Unfortunately, these natural products are rarely produced when the fungus is grown in vitro. Such compounds of natural origin could be used as an alternative to synthetic herbicides threatening our environment. Furthermore, resistance to some classes of herbicides appeared in the field. Thus, herbicides with new modes of action are required.
The HerbiFun project aims at: (i) better predict the biosynthetic potential of phytopathogenic fungal species; (ii) unlocking the production of secondary metabolites by fungi grown in vitro; (iii) elucidating structures of the newly produced compounds; (iv) characterizing the herbicidal activities of these metabolites.
Three Academic partners and one Industrial partner are involved in HerbiFun:
The project is funded by The French National Research Agency (ANR), grant ANR-16-CE20-0023.