Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Develop Biotech Alfalfa to Resist Weevil Attack

December 5, 2012

Alfalfa weevil is one of the serious problems in alfalfa production, causing damage of up to 50-70 percent of the harvest. Thus, Masoud Tohidfar of the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Institute of Iran (ABRII) and colleagues introduced genetic resistance against alfalfa weevil (Hypera postica) into three Iranian commercial alfalfa varieties (Km-27, Kk-14, and Syn-18) through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation.

The research team used synthetic cry3a gene to confer weevil resistance. Analyses confirmed that the gene was successfully expressed in the transgenic plants, which exhibited increased resistance to the weevil compared with the control. No significant differences were found in terms of the morphological characteristics and growth behavior of the transgenic plants and the control plants.

Read the abstract at