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Crop Biotech Update

Expression of Tomato Prosystemin in Tobacco Enhances Plant Resistance to Botrytis cinerea

March 2, 2016

Systemin is a tomato peptide hormone that promotes plant defense against plant-chewing pests. Homologues of tomato prosystemin are present in other Solanaceae, but not in tobacco. Moreover, tobacco does not respond to the external application of the tomato systemin. Previously, it was shown that the expression of the full-length tomato prosystemin cDNA in tobacco increases plant tolerance against pathogenic fungi.

Giandomenico Corrado of Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II in Italy led a team of researchers and evaluated the relevance of the systemin sequence. The team generated transgenic tobacco plants that express a mutated prosystemin lacking the systemin sequence region. Analyses showed that the constitutive expression of the truncated prosystemin altered the proteomic profile of tobacco leaves and increased plant resistance against Botrytis cinerea.

The overlap of the modifications caused by the expression of the full-length and the truncated prosystemin indicated that these alterations occur in the absence of the systemin sequence.

For more information about the study, read the article in Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture.