1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The main objective is to devise root maggot control strategies by genetically engineering sugar beet for production of recombinant proteinase inhibitor proteins that target the digestive proteases of the sugar beet root maggot, a major pest of sugar beet.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Several proteinase inhibitor genes cloned from sugar beet or from tobacco will be introduced into sugar beet hairy root cultures and used in insect bioassays to characterize the functional role of these genes in pest resistance.
Investigational studies include the identification and characterization of disease resistance genes that can be manipulated for more effective control of major pests and pathogens of sugar beet. Genes associated with sugar beet root defense response mechanisms incited by a sugarbeet pests are being identified and characterized. Exchange of information between ARS and The Beet Sugar Development Foundation is achieved through periodic contacts via electronic mail, phone discussions and submission and review of manuscripts for publication in the Foundation sponsored journal or other peer reviewed journals, Beet Sugar Development Foundation annual reports, executive summaries and American Society of Sugar Beet Technologists biennial meetings.
Molecular functional studies were initiated to characterize newly discovered sugar beet genes and several other inscet resistance genes. Transgenes were reconstructed for over-production in a model sugar beet root system and model plants. Insect bioassays were developed for evaluating the effect of resistance genes on the sugar beet root maggot, beet armyworm, fall armyworm and black cutworms using genetically modified roots of sugar beet (hairy root cultures) and model plants. Results from the insect bioassays support a function of these genes for increasing insect resistance in plants.