Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2015
Publication Date: 6/11/2015
Citation: Johnson, E.T., Dowd, P.F., Hughes, S.R. 2015. Transgenic tobacco expressing a modified spider peptide inhibits the growth of plant pathogens and insect larvae. Meeting Abstract. p. 29.
Technical Abstract: The gene encoding lycotoxin I, an amphipathic pore-forming peptide, was modified to increase oral toxicity to insects. One of the most active modified genes was then constitutively expressed in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and transformants were evaluated for insect and disease resistance. Pathogenic symptoms caused by Pseudomonas syringae pathovar tabaci and Alternaria alternata on the modified lycotoxin I-expressing leaves were significantly less severe than those seen on wild type leaves. The transgenic leaves also were more resistant to larvae of the corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea) and cigarette beetle (Lasioderma serricorne) compared to wild type leaves. Gene expression levels of modified lycotoxin I were negatively correlated to the survival of corn earworm larvae. These results indicate that modified lycotoxin I expression in tobacco can potentially protect leaf tissue from a broad spectrum of pests and pathogens.