Plant Pathogen Control

Cultivated plants are constantly exposed to pathogens, and the subsequent development of symptomatic disease causes vast economic losses throughout the agricultural industry. A great need exists for the development and use of improved antimicrobial products to control plant pathogens.

Our goal is simple: to replace toxic fungicides and antibiotics with eco-friendly alternatives that help build an environmentally sustainable world. Nature provides environmentally-friendly antimicrobials that are safe yet very effective.


Phylloplanins inhibit blue mold leaf infection on tobacco.

Phylloplanins inhibit blue mold leaf infection on tobacco.

PhylloTech’s core technology is based on our discovery that some plants secrete defensive proteins termed phylloplanins. This novel family of secreted plant proteins inhibit a broad range of agricultural pathogens. Our scientists have published reports on phylloplanin effectiveness and the results of their endeavors are clear: phylloplanins are extremely effective, broad-spectrum pathogen controls. We believe these antimicrobial proteins are the next generation of environmentally-friendly biofungicides and genetic crop traits to enhance disease resistance.


Bacterial blight on soybean

Bacterial blight on soybean

Quorum sensing is a biochemical process that allows bacterial populations to coordinate gene expression and plays a significant role in the onset of pathogenesis and biofilm development. PhylloTech is currently developing environmentally-friendly methods to interrupt this process and limit the impact of bacterial pathogens on crop diseases.

Product Services

Please contact us for more information or if you are interested in licensing these technologies.


Mattupalli, C., Spraker, J. E., Berthier, E., Charkowski, A. O., Keller, N. P., and Shepherd, R. W. (2014) A microfluidic assay for identifying differential responses of plant and human fungal pathogens to tobacco phylloplanins. Plant Health Progress 15, 130-134. Link

Shepherd, R. W. and Wagner, G. J. (2012) Fungi and Leaf Surfaces, in Biocomplexity of Plant-Fungal Interactions (ed D. Southworth), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118314364.ch6 Link

Shepherd, R. W. and Lindow, S. E. (2009) Two N-acyl-homoserine lactone acylases of Pseudomonas syringae influence colony and biofilm morphology. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75, 45-53. Link

Kroumova, A.B., Shepherd, R.W., and Wagner, G.J. (2007) Impacts of T-phylloplanin gene knockdown and of Helianthus and Datura phylloplanins on Peronospora tabacina spore germination and disease potential. Plant Physiology 144, 1843-1851. Link

Shepherd, R.W., Wagner, G.J. (2007) Phylloplane proteins: emerging defenses at the aerial frontline? Trends in Plant Science 12, 51-56. Link

Shepherd, R.W., Bass, W.T., Houtz, R.L., and Wagner, G.J. (2005) Phylloplanins of tobacco are defensive proteins deployed on aerial surfaces by short glandular trichomes. Plant Cell 17, 1851-1861. Link

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