Submitted to: National Fusarium Head Blight Forum Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/5/2003
Publication Date: 12/13/2003
Citation: Satyavathi, V.V., Jauhar, P.P. 2003. In vitro regeneration protocol of commercial durum cultivars and transformation with antifungal genes. National Fusarium Head Blight Forum Proceedings. Dec. 12-15, 2003, Mpls. Mn. pp.32-35. Interpretive Summary: Durum wheat or macaroni wheat is an important cereal crop used for preparing pasta products. Scab or Fusarium head blight (FHB) is a serious disease that causes huge losses to American durum growers particularly in the Northern Plains of the country. We have no reliable source of scab resistance in current durum cultivars. Although hybridization with wild grasses has been instrumental in producing scab-resistant durum germplasm, such techniques are often tedious and time consuming. Genetic engineering provides a rapid means of introducing antifungal genes and hence producing scab resistance in wheat. We therefore standardized a method of regenerating plants from durum scutellum cultures. Using that protocol, we incorporated antifungal genes into the commercial durum cultivar Maier and we are studying the inheritance of the transgenes. Both traditional breeding as well as tools of modern biotechnology may prove useful in combatting this ravaging disease.
Technical Abstract: Scab or Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused by Fusarium graminearum, is one of the most ravaging diseases of durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L., 2n = 4x = 28; AABB genomes). There is no reliable source of scab resistance in current durum cultivars. Sexual hybridization with wild grasses is useful in producing FHB-resistant durum germplasm, but this procedure is tedious and time consuming. To produce FHB resistance through genetic transformation with antifungal genes, we first standardized an efficient in vitro regeneration system for some commercial durum cultivars. Using that protocol, we have incorporated antifungal genes (tlp and TRI101 with bar gene as a selectable maker) into the commercial durum cultivar Maier. Western blot analysis confirmed the expression of the tlp gene in the transformants and the inheritance of the transgenes in the progeny is being studied.