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Expression of the peroxidase gene promoter (Shpx6b) from Stylosanthes humilis in transgenic plants during insect attack

Perera, M.R. and Jones, M.G.K.ORCID: 0000-0001-5002-0227 (2004) Expression of the peroxidase gene promoter (Shpx6b) from Stylosanthes humilis in transgenic plants during insect attack. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 111 (3). pp. 165-171.

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Inducible promoters are important in regulating the expression of resistance genes when plants are attacked by insects or pathogens. Evaluation of the Shpx6b peroxidase promoter from the tropical forage legume Stylosanthes humilis [Curtis MD, Rae AL, Rusu AG, Harrison SJ & Manners JM (1997) A peroxidase gene promoter induced by phytopathogens and methyl jasmonates in transgenic plants. Molecular Plant Microbial Interactions 10: 326-338] in transgenic tobacco plants Nicotiana tabacum L. (Solanaceae) demonstrated that this promoter could drive expression of both the β-glucuronidase (GUS uidA gene of E. coli) and green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter genes in leaf tissues during attack by chewing insects - larvae of potato tuber moth (PTM) Phthorimaea operculella Zeller (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) and sucking insects - green peach aphids Myzus persicae Sulzer (Homoptera: Aphididae). Strong GUS expression was present in tissues next to cells damaged by PTM larvae 24 h after infestation. With aphid infestation, GUS expression was limited to sites of feeding, and was observed 48 h after infestation. The expression of GFP mirrored that of GUS expression for both treatments, but was normally detected 48 h after infestation. Similarly, the exogenous application of methyl jasmonate (MeJa) induced GUS uniformly across leaf tissue, and mechanical wounding activated GUS expression at wound sites, similar to PTM larvae. GFP expression was observed 48 h after treatment, and for mechanical wounding GFP was localised in a manner similar to PTM damage. For MeJa treatment, GFP expression was more pronounced in cells around the midrib, and it was not uniformly induced across the leaf tissue. GUS reporter gene levels were also assayed to quantify expression, and the results were consistent with the observed histological patterns of expression. The results presented here show that the Shpx6b promoter switches on the expression of linked genes after damage by insect herbivores, and could be useful in regulating the expression of heterologous genes for insect and/or pathogen resistance in transgenic plants.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
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