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Significant reduction of fungal disease symptoms in transgenic lupin (Lupinus angustifolius) expressing the anti-apoptotic baculovirus genep35

Wijayanto, T., Barker, S.J., Wylie, S.J.ORCID: 0000-0002-5639-7460, Gilchrist, D.G. and Cowling, W.A. (2009) Significant reduction of fungal disease symptoms in transgenic lupin (Lupinus angustifolius) expressing the anti-apoptotic baculovirus genep35. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 7 (8). pp. 778-790.

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Narrow-leafed lupin (NLL; Lupinus angustifolius) is a recently domesticated but anciently propagated crop with significant value in rotation with cereals in Mediterranean climates. However, several fungal pathogens, traditionally termed necrotrophs, severely affect broad-acre production and there is limited genetic resistance in the NLL germplasm pool. Symptoms of many of these diseases appear as localized areas of dead cells exhibiting markers of programmed cell death. Based on our previous research, we hypothesized that engineered expression of the baculovirus anti-apoptotic p35 gene might reduce symptoms of these diseases. Using Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation of a cultivar highly susceptible to several pathogens, 14 independent NLL lines containing both the p35 and bar genes were obtained (p35-NLL). Integration and expression of the transgenes were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), progeny testing, Southern blot, Northern blot and reverse transcriptase-PCR analyses. Fecundity and nodulation were not altered in these lines. Third or fourth generation p35-NLL lines were challenged with necrotrophic fungal pathogens (anthracnose in stem and leaf, and Pleiochaeta root rot and leaf brown spot) in controlled environment conditions. Several p35-NLL lines had significantly reduced disease symptoms. Interestingly, as with natural resistance, no single line was improved for all three diseases which possibly reflecting spatial variation of p35 expression in planta. These data support an alternative molecular definition for 'necrotrophic disease' in plants and suggest new routes for achieving resistance against a range of pathogens.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Western Australian State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Inc.
Copyright: © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
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