Genetic engineering of crop plants for fungal resistance: role of antifungal genes.
ABSTRACT Fungal diseases damage crop plants and affect agricultural production. Transgenic plants have been produced by inserting antifungal genes to confer resistance against fungal pathogens. Genes of fungal cell wall-degrading enzymes, such as chitinase and glucanase, are frequently used to produce fungal-resistant transgenic crop plants. In this review, we summarize the details of various transformation studies to develop fungal resistance in crop plants.
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ABSTRACT: Embryo axes excised from mature seeds of pea (Pisum sativum L.) cv. 'Sponsor' were used as explants for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation using pGreenII 0229 binary vectors. The vectors harbored a chimeric chitinase gene (chit30), driven by the constitutive 35S promoter or the elicitor inducible stilbene synthase (vst) promoter from grape (Vitis vinifera L.). The secretion signal of the bacterial chitinase gene from Streptomyces olivaceoviridis ATCC 11238 (DSM 41433) was replaced by the A. thaliana basic chitinase leader sequence. Functional properties of the recombinant gene were tested in tobacco as a model system before the long process of pea transformation was undertaken. Several transgenic pea clones were obtained and the transgenic nature confirmed by different molecular methods. The accumulation and activity of chitinase in stably transformed plants were examined by Western blot analysis and in-gel assays, which showed the presence of an additional 3 isoform bands. Using in vitro bioassays with Trichoderma harzanium as a model, we found an inhibition or delay of hyphal extension, which might indicate enhanced antifungal activity compared with non-transformed pea plants. Up to the 4th generation, the transgenic plants did not show any phenotypic alterations compared with non-transgenic control plants.Journal of biotechnology 09/2009; 143(4):302-8. · 2.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Taro (Colocasia esculenta) is one of the most important crops in the Pacific Islands, however, taro yields have been declining in Hawaii over the past 30 years partly due to diseases caused by oomycete and fungal pathogens. In this study, an efficient Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation method for taro is first reported. In total, approximately 200 pieces (8 g) of embryogenic calluses were infected with the super-virulent A. tumefaciens strain EHA105 harboring the plant transformation plasmid pBI121/ricchi11 that contains the rice chitinase gene ricchi11. The presence and expression of the transgene ricchi11 in six independent transgenic lines was confirmed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). Southern blot analysis of the six independent lines indicated that three out of six (50%) had integrated a single copy of the transgene, and the other three lines had two or three copies of the transgene. Compared to the particle bombardment transformation of taro method, which was used in the previous studies, the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method obtained 43-fold higher transformation efficiency. In addition, these six transgenic lines via Agrobacterium may be more effective for transgene expression as a result of single-copy or low-copy insertion of the transgene than the single line with multiple copies of the transgene via particle bombardment. In a laboratory bioassay, all six transgenic lines exhibited increased tolerance to the fungal pathogen Sclerotium rolfsii, ranging from 42 to 63% reduction in lesion expansion.Plant Cell Reports 06/2008; 27(5):903-9. · 2.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Chitinases, beta-1,3-glucanases, and ribosome-inactivating proteins are reported to have antifungal activity in plants. With the aim of producing fungus-resistant transgenic plants, we co-expressed a modified maize ribosome-inactivating protein gene, MOD1, and a rice basic chitinase gene, RCH10, in transgenic rice plants. A construct containing MOD1 and RCH10 under the control of the rice rbcS and Act1 promoters, respectively, was co-transformed with a plasmid containing the herbicide-resistance gene bar as a selection marker into rice by particle bombardment. Several transformants analyzed by genomic Southern-blot hybridization demonstrated integration of multiple copies of the foreign gene into rice chromosomes. Immunoblot experiments showed that MOD1 formed approximately 0.5% of the total soluble protein in transgenic leaves. RCH10 expression was examined using the native polyacrylamide-overlay gel method, and high RCH10 activity was observed in leaf tissues where endogenous RCH10 is not expressed. R1 plants were analyzed in a similar way, and the Southern-blot patterns and levels of transgene expression remained the same as in the parental line. Analysis of the response of R2 plants to three fungal pathogens of rice, Rhizoctonia solani, Bipolaris oryzae, and Magnaporthe grisea, indicated statistically significant symptom reduction only in the case of R. solani (sheath blight). The increased resistance co-segregated with herbicide tolerance, reflecting a correlation between the resistance phenotype and transgene expression.Transgenic Research 09/2003; 12(4):475-84. · 2.61 Impact Factor