Biotech Updates

Yam Gene DB1 in Rice Confers Resistance to Sap-sucking Pest

March 13, 2013

Brown planthopper is one of the rice pests in Japan, causing severe damage by sucking or acting as a vector for detrimental viral diseases. Thus, a team of scientists led by Shoichiro Yoshimura of Tohoku University in Japan, developed transgenic rice plants expressing Dioscorea batatas tuber lectin 1 (DB1) from yam which confers resistance against brown planthopper.

The transformation led to increased DB1 levels in the rice plants. When the transgenic rice plants were exposed to the pest, there was a reduction of 30% in the survival of the pest compared with the survival of the pest in wild-type rice. Furthermore, the number of the next generation brown planthopper was reduced by 22% in the seven most-resistant plants compared with that of the wild-type rice, when the female adults were inoculated. These findings show that DB1 can confer effective resistance to brown planthopper in rice, particularly in terms of decreased survival and fecundity.

Read more details about the study at