Antimicrobial cyclic peptides derived from microbes bind stably with target sites, have a tolerance to hydrolysis by proteases, and a favorable degradability under field conditions, which make them an attractive proposition for use as agricultural fungicides. Antimicrobial cyclic peptides are classified according to the types of bonds within the ring structure; homodetic, heterodetic, and complex cyclic peptides, which in turn reflect diverse physicochemical features. Most antimicrobial cyclic peptides affect the integrity of the cell envelope. This is achieved through direct interaction with the cell membrane or disturbance of the cell wall and membrane component biosynthesis such as chitin, glucan, and sphingolipid. These are specific and selective targets providing reliable activity and safety for non-target organisms. Synthetic cyclic peptides produced through combinatorial chemistry offer an alternative approach to develop antimicrobials for agricultural uses. Those synthesized so far have been studied for antibacterial activity, however, the recent advancements in powerful technologies now promise to provide novel antimicrobial cyclic peptides that are yet to be discovered from natural resources.
Keywords: antimicrobial peptides, cyclic peptides, fungal diseases, plant disease control