Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2010
Publication Date: 11/1/2010
Citation: Ruhlman, T.A., Cary, J.W., Rajasekaran, K. 2010. The plastid genome as a platform for the expression of microbial resistance genes. In: Rebeiz, C.A., Benning, C., Bohnert, H.J., Daniell, H., Hoober, J.K., Lichtenthaler, H.K., Portis, A.R., and Tripathy, B.C., editors. The Chloroplast: Basics and Applications. Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 31:245-262.
Technical Abstract: In recent years, our fundamental understanding of host-microbe interaction has developed considerably. We have begun to tease out the genetic components that influence host resistance to microbial colonization. The use of advancing molecular technologies such as microarray expression profiling and proteomic tools are enabling the extension of our understanding to include factors that influence toxin biosyntheses by fungi such as Aspergillus flavus. Transgenic approaches such as plastid biotechnology are maturing beyond the introductory model systems into crop species and hold the promise to deliver efficacy in the field. By applying this expertise through creative collaborative projects aimed at controlling infestation and subsequent contamination of commodities, we should be able to provide a higher level of safety to consumers of agricultural products in the future. Added benefits of plastid transformation include 5-40 fold higher levels of gene expression and prevention of transgene escape through pollen. Avenues for disease resistance through plastid biotechnology are explored in this review.