Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 653759, 12 pages
Review Article

Uses of Phage Display in Agriculture: A Review of Food-Related Protein-Protein Interactions Discovered by Biopanning over Diverse Baits

1Department of Horticulture, Agricultural Science Center North, University of Kentucky, Room 308J, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
2Seed Biology Group, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
3Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Kentucky, Room 159, F. Paul Anderson Tower, Lexington, KY 40546, USA
4Center for Computational Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
5Department of Horticulture, University of Kentucky, Room 401A, Plant Science Building, Lexington, KY 40546, USA

Received 27 February 2013; Accepted 2 April 2013

Academic Editor: Jian Huang

Copyright © 2013 Rekha Kushwaha et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This review highlights discoveries made using phage display that impact the use of agricultural products. The contribution phage display made to our fundamental understanding of how various protective molecules serve to safeguard plants and seeds from herbivores and microbes is discussed. The utility of phage display for directed evolution of enzymes with enhanced capacities to degrade the complex polymers of the cell wall into molecules useful for biofuel production is surveyed. Food allergies are often directed against components of seeds; this review emphasizes how phage display has been employed to determine the seed component(s) contributing most to the allergenic reaction and how it has played a central role in novel approaches to mitigate patient response. Finally, an overview of the use of phage display in identifying the mature seed proteome protection and repair mechanisms is provided. The identification of specific classes of proteins preferentially bound by such protection and repair proteins leads to hypotheses concerning the importance of safeguarding the translational apparatus from damage during seed quiescence and environmental perturbations during germination. These examples, it is hoped, will spur the use of phage display in future plant science examining protein-ligand interactions.