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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Borovsky, Dov
item Iannotti, Donna
item Shatters, Robert - Bob
item Powell, Charles

Submitted to: Pestycydy/Pesticides
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2005
Publication Date: 12/1/2005
Citation: Borovsky, D., Iannotti, D., Shatters, R.G., Powell, C.A. 2005. Effect of recombinant Aea-TMOF on Heliothis virescence. Pestycydy. 3:79-85.

Interpretive Summary: Environmental and human health concerns are driving the development of alternative pest control strategies to protect agricultural crops. Biologically-based methods are an attractive alternative to synthetic chemical pesticides because the can have a narrow range of activity (limited harm to non-pest organisms), they are rapidly biodegraded, and do not need to be synthesized from costly petroleum-based feedstocks. This paper presents the development of transgenic plants expressing a mosquito peptide that regulates insect digestive enzyme synthesis, and the effect of the plant expressing this peptide on a pest lepidopteran insect (tobacco budworm). Results indicate that alfalfa plants expressing this peptide have increased resistance to tobacco budworm feeding and provides evidence that this method may be suitable as a commercially viable insect control strategy designed to protect agriculturally important crops.

Technical Abstract: Trypsin biosynthesis in H. virescens and larval growth (Weight gain) were followed after feeding 1st and 2nd instar larvae recombinant Pichia pastoris synthesizing TMOF in artificial diet for 7 days. Inhibition of 32% and 22.3% in weight gain was noted in 1st and 2nd instars, respectively, as compared with controls that were fed on artificial food with or without non-transformed P. pastoris. Trypsin biosynthesis in the guts of 1st and 2nd instar larvae that ate the recombinant yeast-TMOF was inhibited by 83.5% and 60%, respectively, as compared with controls. When 1st instar larvae were fed recombinant alfalfa leaf discs from 5 plants that were transformed with a TMOF gene, 2 plants (B23 and C9) showed a moderate protection against leaf damage (36% and 56% respectively). Trypsin biosynthesis in larvae that ate the leaf discs from B23 and C9 was inhibited by 41.5 and 59%, respectively. Wild-type alfalfa leaf discs that were covered with recombinant yeast-TMOF gave 100% protection to the leaf discs and caused 84% inhibition of trypsin biosynthesis in 1st instars of H. virescens larvae. These results indicate that TMOF in high quantities produced by recombinant yeast cells can protect alfalfa leaves against damage by H. virescens.

Last Modified: 06/25/2017
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