Food insecurity is a major global issue, with millions facing hunger each year. One major contributing factor is crop loss, a significant fraction of which is due to plant pathogens. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, around $220 billion USD of crops are lost due to plant diseases and pests annually, including bacterial plant pathogens.
Biocontrols are a sustainable alternative to conventional crop protection methods. Bacterial biocontrol agents inhibit or kill a target pathogens through a wide variety of natural mechanisms (Bonaterra et al., 2022). These agents work in harmony with nature to prevent the devastating losses that bacterial plant pathogens can cause.
Microcins are a class of novel antimicrobial peptides secreted by many bacteria. Microcins are a potential alternative because they are highly specific and difficult to acquire resistance to. Generally, microcins cause disruptions in the cell membrane through interactions with inner membrane receptors, resulting in destruction of the cell (Parker & Davies, 2022).