Submitted to: International Plant Protection Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 28, 2004
Publication Date: May 13, 2004
Citation: Huang, Y. 2004. Identification of a novel antimicrobial gene and its value for engineering disease resistance in plants [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 15th International Plant Protection Congress, May 11-16, 2004, Beijing, China. p. 247. Technical Abstract: Crop protection against detrimental microorganisms and harmful pests has been advanced tremendously via both conventional breeding and genetic engineering. Searching for genes that confer durable and effective resistance to pests or pathogens will further contribute to crop improvement. Recently a novel antimicrobial protein (PtAMP) gene has been isolated from the tissue of loblolly pine which is known with antimicrobial activity. Compared to other types of antimicrobial genes, this gene encodes a larger antimicrobial peptide consisting of 76 amino acid residues in its coding region and 26 amino acids for a signal peptide. In antimicrobial assay, the PtAMP was able to inhibit the growth of a wide range of plant pathogenic bacteria and fungi. This led us to expect that transgenic plants expressing this antimicrobial protein would possess a broad resistance to plant pathogens. To test this hypothesis, the PtAMP gene was introduced into tobacco plant via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. Our experimental results indicated that the gene was integrated into the genome of tobacco plant and was also effectively expressed in the transgenic plants. The transgenic tobacco plants appeared normal phenotypically but showed antimicrobial activities when those plants were infected by several phytopathogens. Thus, our studies suggest that this new antimicrobial gene has great potential in development of new plant cultivars with enhanced disease resistance.