Biotechnology has allowed the development of novel strategies to obtain plants that are more resistant to pests, fungal pathogens and other agents of biotic stress. The obvious advantages of having genotypes with multiple beneficial traits have recently fostered the development of gene pyramiding strategies, but less attention has been given to the study of genes that can increase resistance to different types of harmful organisms. Here we report that a recombinant Chitinase A protein of the Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus (AcMNPV) has both antifungal and insecticide properties in vitro. Transgenic tobacco plants expressing an active ChiA protein showed reduced damages caused by fungal pathogens and lepidopteran larvae, while did not have an effect on aphid populations. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the characterisation and expression in plants of a single gene that increases resistance against herbivorous pests and fungal pathogens and not affecting non-target insects. The implications and the potential of the ChiA gene for plant molecular breeding and biotechnology are discussed.

The Chitinase A from the baculovirus AcMNPV enhances resistance to both fungi and herbivorous pests in tobacco

FANTI, Paolo;
2008

Abstract

Biotechnology has allowed the development of novel strategies to obtain plants that are more resistant to pests, fungal pathogens and other agents of biotic stress. The obvious advantages of having genotypes with multiple beneficial traits have recently fostered the development of gene pyramiding strategies, but less attention has been given to the study of genes that can increase resistance to different types of harmful organisms. Here we report that a recombinant Chitinase A protein of the Autographa californica nuclear polyhedrosis virus (AcMNPV) has both antifungal and insecticide properties in vitro. Transgenic tobacco plants expressing an active ChiA protein showed reduced damages caused by fungal pathogens and lepidopteran larvae, while did not have an effect on aphid populations. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the characterisation and expression in plants of a single gene that increases resistance against herbivorous pests and fungal pathogens and not affecting non-target insects. The implications and the potential of the ChiA gene for plant molecular breeding and biotechnology are discussed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/2183
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