Crop Biotech Update

Expression of Arabidopsis L-type Lectin Receptor Kinase Genes in Tobacco Confers Phytophthora Resistance

February 17, 2016

In Arabidopsis, several L-type lectin receptor kinases (LecRKs) were previously found to function in conferring Phytophthora resistance. Yan Wang of the Nanjing Agricultural University, together with researchers from Wageningen University, determined the function of Arabidopsis LecRK-I.9 or LecRK-IX.1 against Phytophthora resistance when transferred into Nicotiana benthamiana.

Multiple transgenic lines were generated for each LecRK gene and molecular analyses revealed variation in transgene copy number, transgene expression levels and LecRK protein accumulation. Assays showed that transgenic N. benthamiana plants expressing either Arabidopsis LecRK-I.9 or LecRK-IX.1 were more resistant to Phytophthora capsici and Phytophthora infestans.

These results demonstrate that Arabidopsis LecRK-I.9 and LecRK-IX.1 retained their Phytophthora resistance function after being transferred into N. benthamiana. These LecRKs have the potential to function as a complementary Phytophthora resistance resource in distantly related plant species.

For more information, read the article on Plant Cell Reports.