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Title: Chapter VIII. Contributions of propagation techniques and genetic modification to breeding - genetic engineering for disease resistance

item Kamo, Kathryn
item KRENS, FRANS - Wageningen Agricultural University
item ZIV, MEIRA - Hebrew University Of Jerusalem

Submitted to: CRC Press
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/7/2012
Publication Date: 9/12/2012
Citation: Kamo, K.K., Krens, F., Ziv, M. 2012. Chapter VIII. Contributions of propagation techniques and genetic modification to breeding - genetic engineering for disease resistance. CRC Press. In: Ornamental Geophytes (Eds. R. Kamenetsky and Okubo, H). CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Interpretive Summary: This section of a review chapter summarizes the current status of genetic engineering as applied to flower bulb crops for disease resistance. The various genes that have been used during the past five years to transform plant species for virus, fungus, and bacteria resistance are described so that one is aware of the numerous genes available. A few genes have been used in flower bulb crops as described. One study showed resistance in calla lily to the bacterium that causes soft rot by genetic engineering with the plant ferredoxin gene. Ornithogalum and Gladiolus have been engineered for virus resistance.

Technical Abstract: Genetic engineering offers an opportunity to develop flower bulb crops with resistance to fungal, viral, and bacterial pathogens. Several of the flower bulb crops, Lilium spp., Gladiolus, Zantedeschia, Muscari, Hyacinthus, Narcissus, Ornithogalum, Iris, and Alstroemeria, have been transformed with the reporter gene, uidA, that codes for gus expression, and a few studies used a gene for disease resistance. A current problem with most of the transformation systems for flower bulb crops is that only a few species have a high transformation efficiency that allows one to effectively conduct research with them. One factor that contributes to a high transformation efficiency is a high regeneration frequency and successful acclimatization of the regenerated plants to growth in soil. An understanding of the organization of a plant’s genome is also critical for successful genetic engineering. The huge size of the genome for many of the flower bulb crops is important to consider when applying molecular biology techniques for its analysis and when isolating genes of interest. This section of a chapter reviews recent studies on transformation of plants for virus, fungal, and bacterial resistance with emphasis on the pathogens that affect flower bulb crops.