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A tandem of enzymes responsible for the pathogenicity of crop-damaging fungi

To accelerate the reduction of fungicide use, understanding the mechanisms of plant infection by pathogenic fungi is essential. An important discovery in this sense was made during the ANR project - "Funtastic" where the initial objective was to identify metalloenzymes capable of producing fragrance molecules for perfumery and naturally produced by phytopathogenic fungi. Scientists from INRAE, CNRSCEA but also other collaborators from Japan, Spain and Canada, fortuitously discovered the crucial role of a pair of enzymes (i.e. copper-radical oxidase and peroxidase) in the infectious mechanism of the main phytopathogenic fungi. Results were published on December 21 in Science Advances (DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.ade9982)