|Rajasekaran, Kanniah - Rajah|
Submitted to: Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Series
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/12/2007
Publication Date: 2/15/2008
Citation: Stewart, J.MCD., Nader, C., Rajasekaran, K. 2008. Effect of antimicrobial peptides (AMPS) on mycorrhizal associations. Summaries of University of Arkansas Cotton Research. Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station Research Series. 562:163-166.
Technical Abstract: In transgenic research, it is essential to document the non-toxic nature of gene products when used in producing transgenic crops. In our laboratory, we have produced transgenic cotton and tobacco plants expressing synthetic genes which control fungal pathogens including Aspergillus flavus that causes aflatoxin contamination of food and feed crops. In the present study we assessed the ability of genetically modified tobacco plants expressing antifungal genes to establish mycorrhizal associations. Mycorrhizal fungal associations are very beneficial to the plant community and they are not pathogenic. Antifungal or antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) were expected to be detrimental to the associations. The effects of these peptides on mycorrhizal fungi are accepted as good indicators of their effect on soil microbes in general. We evaluated the effect of expression of two antimicrobial peptides MSI-99 and D4E1 on the formation of mycorrhizal associations in roots of tobacco plants transformed with the respective genes. The results indicated that the ability of the transgenic plants to establish mycorrhizal associations was not inhibited and did not interfere with the antifungal activity against other fungal pathogens. These results will also be useful to regulatory agencies to make informed decisions regarding approval of transgenic crops for cultivation.