Submitted to: International Plant Resistance to Insects Workshop Abstracts & Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/25/2010
Publication Date: 3/25/2010
Citation: Johnson, E.T., Berhow, M.A., Dowd, P.F. 2010. Can maize anthocyanins function as resistance molecules to corn earworm? [abstract]. International Plant Resistance to Insects Workshop. p. 33.
Technical Abstract: Insect herbivory of valuable crops increases the probability of fungal infection in damaged tissues. Mycotoxins produced by some fungi are harmful to livestock and humans. Anthocyanin biosynthesis in maize protects tissues from biotic and abiotic stresses. Constitutive expression of the maize B1 and C1 genes, which induce anthocyanin biosynthesis, resulted in transgenic plants with varied phenotypes. Colored leaves with the highest levels of cyanidin, the predominant anthocyanidin detected in all colored transgenic tissues, were resistant to corn earworm (CEW) larvae. Colored anthers were resistant to CEW feeding, and reductions in CEW growth were significantly correlated to levels of cyanidin in the anthers. Cyanidin chloride and cyanidin-3-glucoside chloride added to insect diet slowed the growth of CEW larvae. Thus maize anthocyanins may be a useful component of multigenic resistance when expressed in appropriate tissues at certain times.