Submitted to: American Peanut Research and Education Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 13, 1999
Publication Date: December 1, 1999
Technical Abstract: Fungal diseases of peanut are responsible for increased production costs and yield losses for peanut producers in the United States. Few cultivars with disease resistance have been developed through traditional breeding practices. There is an urgent need for developing peanut cultivars that are resistant to the broad spectrum of fungal pathogens that pose a recurring threat to producers. Hydrolases such as chitinase and B 1-3, glucanase are known to degrade the cell walls of many fungi that attack plants, making them rational candidates for overexpression through genetic engineering to produce disease-resistant crops. Somatic embryos of the peanut variety OKRun were transformed with a B 1-3, glucanase gene via microprojectile bombardment. Regenerated plant lines were tested for the presence of the glucanase gene by PCR and Southern blot and for enzyme activity by colorimetric assay. Several lines showed glucanase activity 2-4 times greater than background levels.