Exploring the Dual Interaction of Natural Rhamnolipids with Plant and Fungal Biomimetic Plasma Membranes through Biophysical Studies.


Matrice Extracellulaire et Dynamique Cellulaire, UMR CNRS 7369, Chaire MAgICS, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne (URCA), 51687 Reims, France. [Email]


Rhamnolipids (RLs) are potential biocontrol agents for crop culture protection. Their mode of action has been proposed as dual, combining plant protection activation and antifungal activities. The present work focuses on the interaction of natural RLs with plant and fungi membrane models at the molecular scale. Representative models were constructed and the interaction with RLs was studied by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and deuterium nuclear magnetic resonance (²H NMR) spectroscopic measurements. Molecular dynamic (MD) simulations were performed to investigate RL insertion in lipid bilayers. Our results showed that the RLs fit into the membrane models and were located near the lipid phosphate group of the phospholipid bilayers, nearby phospholipid glycerol backbones. The results obtained with plant plasma membrane models suggest that the insertion of RLs inside the lipid bilayer did not significantly affect lipid dynamics. Oppositely, a clear fluidity increase of fungi membrane models was observed. This effect was related to the presence and the specific structure of ergosterol. The nature of the phytosterols could also influence the RL effect on plant plasma membrane destabilization. Subtle changes in lipid dynamics could then be linked with plant defense induction and the more drastic effects associated with fungal membrane destabilization.


biomimetic lipid membrane,ergosterol,fungi plasma membrane,membrane insertion and dynamic,membrane sterol,phytosterols,plant plasma membrane,rhamnolipid,

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