Crop Biotech Update

Arabidopsis NPR1-expressing Cotton Shows Enhanced Resistance to Black Root Rot

October 3, 2012

Black root rot disease is caused by Thielaviopsis basicola, a soil-borne pathogen of several horticultural and agricultural crops such as cotton. Scientist Vinod Kumar from Texas A&M University in the U.S. and colleagues evaluated the ability of cotton lines expressing Arabidopsis NPR1 (AtNPR1) to resist T. basicola. AtNPR1-expressing cotton has previously shown superior resistance to diverse kinds of pathogens and reniform nematodes.

The team found significant degree of resistance by transgenic lines to black root rot. Though the transgenic plants exhibited root discoloration similar to the wild-type plants, the roots of the transgenic plants recovered rapidly and continued normal growth and development. The transgenic plants further showed improved performance with higher shoot and root mass, longer shoot length, and greater number of boll-set. Transcriptional analysis of the defense response also showed that the transgenic plants have stronger and  faster induction of several defense-related genes.

Read the abstract at http://www.springerlink.com/content/513l3m0u464115r7/.