About

Plants produce small cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) as an innate defense against pathogens such as a-defensins, thionins, lipid transfer proteins (LTPs), cyclotides, snakins and hevein-like. PhytAMP is a database dedicated to these plant AMPs. The resource contains valuable information on these AMPs, including taxonomic, microbiological and physicochemical data. Antimicrobial plant peptide sequences were collected from the UniProt database (Apweiler et al., 2007) and from the scientific literature using PubMed. Microbiological information was collected from the literature by PubMed search. Since not all known AMPs sequences were present in the ExPASy (http://www.expasy.org/srs/) SRS server or NCBI server (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/), literature search was used to complete the PhytAMP sequence database. Sequences were retrieved in SciDBMaker (Hammami, et al., 2008) and curated and the resulting tables exported to the MySQL server. PhytAMP allows all plant AMP sequence information and physicochemical or biological data to be accessed via a user-friendly, web-based interface. The database can be queried using various criteria and retrieval of microbiological or physicochemical data, includes specific information on each peptide. A set of tools were provided for sequence analysis including and not limited to homology search, sequence alignments, structure prediction and hidden Markov models. The microbiological, physicochemical and structural proprieties thus provided should allow more comprehensive analysis of this group of antimicrobial peptides and enhance our understanding of plant defense biology.