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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Molecular Plant Pathology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #289065

Title: Novel proteinase inhibitor promotes resistance to insects

item Smigocki, Anna

Submitted to: Patent Application
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/29/2014
Publication Date: 5/29/2014
Publication URL: (
Citation: Smigocki, A.C. 2014. Novel proteinase inhibitor promotes resistance to insects. Patent Application. (

Interpretive Summary: A genetic trait (BvSTI gene) and its regulatory signal (promoter) that has potential to increase insect and disease resistance in plants was isolated from sugar beet. To study the effect of this gene on insect resistance, the gene was re-designed so that its product can be synthesized in genetically modified tobacco plants (Nicotiana benthamiana). We demonstrate that the growth and development of five insects that fed on these modified plants was impaired. These results suggest that the sugar beet gene may be useful for control of insect pests on plants other than sugar beet. Scientists will use this information to identify new genetic traits that will lead to new approaches for increasing pest and disease resistance in crop plants.

Technical Abstract: A novel Beta vulgaris serine proteinase inhibitor gene (BvSTI) and its protein are identified in response to insect feeding on B. vulgaris seedlings. BvSTI is cloned into an expression vector with constitutive promoter and transformed into Nicotiana benthamiana plants to assess BvSTI’s ability to impart resistance to lepidopteran insect pests. A reporter gene GUS is also cloned into an expression vector under control of the BvSTI gene promoter and transformed into N. benthamiana plants to determine if the promoter induces expression of the gene upon wounding and insect feeding. BvSTI DNA and amino acid sequences and the promoter sequences from various strains of B. vulgaris are obtained. Transformation of BvSTI cDNA under control of constitutive promoter or an inducible promoter into economically valuable plants is useful for effective control of insect pests that feed on the economically valuable plants and utilize serine proteases for digestion.