Submitted to: International Congress of Plant Pathology Abstracts and Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/2/2003
Publication Date: 4/4/2003
Citation: Zhu, Y.J., Tang, C.S., Ferreira, S.E., Fitch, M.M., Gonsalves, D., Moore, P.H. 2003. Developing transgenic resistance to fungal diseases in papaya (carica papaya l.). International Congress of Plant Pathology Abstracts and Proceedings. v.2, P12.3. p.169. Interpretive Summary: ABSTRACT ONLY
Technical Abstract: Papaya, an important tropical fruit crop, is susceptible to more than a dozen fungal pathogens and displays limited genetic resistance among cultivars. The major fungal pathogens of this crop include: Phytophthora root and fruit rot (Phytophthora palmivora), anthracnose (Colletotricum gloeosporioides), powdery mildew (Oidium caricae), and black spot (Asperisporium caricae). In commercial production, papayas are routinely sprayed with an array of pesticides to control these fungal diseases. Genetic transformation for resistance to fungal diseases has the potential for decreasing the use of pesticides and significantly improving fruit quality and yield. Here we report preliminary results of research to genetically engineer papaya with several genes encoding the production of several antifungal proteins. Over 50 independent papaya lines, containing transgenes for expressing chitinase, stilbene synthase, or antifungal peptides, were produced. Molecular analysis confirmed the integration of the transgenes into the papaya genome. Bioassays to test for levels of fungal resistance in the greenhouse and fields were conducted. Data supporting the potential of transgenic resistance to fungal diseases are presented.