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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Transgenic Plants Expressing Toxins from Bacillus Thuringiensis

Author
item Jenkins, Johnie

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: February 24, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Plant breeding has been important in the development of new and improved cultivars of major agriculture crops. Worldwide cost associated with management practices and control for insects approaches 10 billion dollars annually. The combination of tissue culture and molecular biology holds great potential for genetic improvements of crop plants to resist insect loss. Bacillus thuringiensis is a soil bacterium that produces proteins that have insecticidal activity. Specific genes that code for delta endotoxin proteins have been identified. The delta endotoxin was first expressed in transgenic tobacco plants and provided resistance to tobacco hornworm. Subsequently, various delta endotoxin genes have been expressed in transgenic cotton, corn, potato, eggplant, tomatoe, soybean, rice, and poplar. These transgenic crop plants control a number of insects that attack these crops. Transgenic cultivars should not be thought of as stand alone products but as the foundation on which to build crop management strategies.

Technical Abstract: Plant breeding has been a major force in the development of new and improved cultivars of major agriculture crops. The combination of tissue culture and molecular biology holds great potential for genetic improvements of crop plants. Bacillus thuringiensis is a soil bacterium that produces proteins that have insecticidal activity. Specific genes that code for delta endotoxin proteins have been identified and sequenced. The delta endotoxin was first expressed in transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants and provided resistance to tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta). Subsequently, various delta endotoxin genes have been sequenced and expressed in transgenic cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), corn (zea maize), potato (Solanum tuberosum), eggplant (Solanum melongena), tomatoe (Lycopersicon spp.), soybean (Glycine max), rice (Oryza savita), and poplar (Populus nigra). These transgenic crop plants control a number of economic pest that attack these crop species. Transgenic cultivars should not be thought of as stand alone products but as the foundation on which to build crop management strategies.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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