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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: New Plant-Derived Genes and Gene Products with Activity Against Corn Ear Pests and Strategies for Deployment

item Dowd, Patrick
item Johnson, Eric

Submitted to: Aflatoxin Elimination Workshop Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 28, 2004
Publication Date: November 17, 2004
Citation: Dowd, P.F., Johnson, E.T. 2006. New plant-derived genes and gene products with activity against corn ear pests and strategies for deployment [abstract]. Aflatoxin Elimination Workshop Proceedings. p. 98.

Technical Abstract: A chitinase-like gene from Arabidopsis, potentially producing a protein homologous to one previously identified with activity against insects, was introduced into maize. Insect bioassays and histochemical assays for enzyme activity of regenerated maize tissue indicated mortality levels were significantly and positively correlated with histochemical ratings for enzyme activity for two series of plants tested. Further confirmatory assays and introduction of related gene forms are planned. Petunia flower assays (as a model system) coupled with individual assays of purified chemicals, suggested type, and structural positioning of anthocyanin sidechain moieties influences activity against insects. Gene knock out assays with petunia, and silk specific transformation of maize are planned to better explore the potential of modifying anthocyanin to increase insect resistance. A peroxidase gene cloned from maize was identified by stable tissue expression assays as one that produces an isozyme previously identified with several types of disease resistance, and may potentially contribute to insect resistance. A transformed line of Arabidopsis that continuously expresses a regulatory gene that turns on multiple defensive pathways, including anthocyanin biosynthesis, had significantly enhanced resistance to fall armyworms, but seed production was significantly decreased compared to wild-type plants. This information suggests that targeting fewer, more potent resistance genes may be preferable to continuous induction of multiple defensive genes.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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