Location: Crop Bioprotection ResearchTitle: What needs fixing: Identifying new pest resistance genes in maize and determining functionality of coded proteins
Submitted to: American Chemical Society National Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/17/2022
Publication Date: 10/12/2023
Citation: Dowd, P.F., Johnson, E.T., Naumann, T.A. 2023. What needs fixing: Identifying new pest resistance genes in maize and determining functionality of coded proteins. American Chemical Society National Meeting. [abstract].
Technical Abstract: Sustainable production of maize and other crops is challenged by pest insects and fungi. Identification of genes coding for proteins active against both classes of pests can speed the development of more resistant crops. Based on prior metaQTL information, a series of potential resistance genes was identified, cloned, and evaluated when transgenically introduced into maize callus. Functionality against both classes of pests was demonstrated in several cases, as was the activity of the same proteins produced in P. pastoris or E. coli. Sequence comparisons of existing maize genomes indicated several of these genes had differences that would reduce or eliminate functionality of coded proteins, including in inbreds such as B73 that are likely in the background of commercial hybrids. Gene editing strategies have the potential to correct these coding errors. Through such efforts, production of more pest resistant maize lines is likely to result in lower production costs, and improved product quality for end users and consumers.