Rice production is known to be severely affected by virus transmitting rice pests, brown planthopper (BPH) and green leafhopper (GLH) of the order hemiptera, feeding by phloem abstraction. ASAL, a novel lectin from leaves of garlic (Allium sativum) was previously demonstrated to be toxic towards hemipteran pests when administered in artificial diet as well as in ASAL expressing transgenic plants. In this report ASAL was targeted under the control of phloem-specific Agrobacterium rolC and rice sucrose synthase-1 (RSs1) promoters at the insect feeding site into popular rice cultivar, susceptible to hemipteran pests. PCR, Southern blot and C-PRINS analyses of transgenic plants have confirmed stable T-DNA integration and the transgenes were co-segregated among self-fertilized progenies. The T0 and T1 plants, harbouring single copy of intact T-DNA expression cassette, exhibit stable expression of ASAL in northern and western blot analyses. ELISA showed that the level of expressed ASAL was as high as 1.01% of total soluble protein. Immunohistofluorescence localization of ASAL depicted the expected expression patterns regulated by each promoter type. In-planta bioassay studies revealed that transgenic ASAL adversely affect survival, growth and population of BPH and GLH. GLH resistant T1 plants were further evaluated for the incidence of tungro disease, caused by co-infection of GLH vectored Rice tungro bacilliform virus (RTBV) and Rice tungro spherical virus (RTSV), which appeared to be dramatically reduced. The result presented here is the first report of such GLH mediated resistance to infection by RTBV/RTSV in ASAL expressing transgenic rice plant.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 29, 2006
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