The peptide PAF56 (GHRKKWFW) was reported to be an effective control for the main diseases of citrus fruit during postharvest storage. However, the mechanism of action of PAF56 is still unknown. In this paper, PAF56 might not induce defense resistance of citrus fruit. The SEM results visually indicated that the fungi mycelia became shrunken and distorted after being treated with PAF56. The destructive effects of PAF56 on the mycelial cell membrane of three kinds of pathogenic fungi (Penicillium digitatum, Penicillium italicum, and Geotrichum citri-aurantii) were verified by the K+ leakage and the release of nucleic acid. Furthermore, the interaction between peptide PAF56 and the pathogen spores was investigated, including the changes in cell membrane permeability and dynamic observation of the interaction of fluorescein labeled TMR-PAF56 and Geotrichum candidum spores. The results indicated that the antifungal activity of PAF56 on spores was time-dependent and directly related...

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