Crop Biotech Update

Evaluation of Anti-herbivory Genes using a Transient Expression System

March 13, 2013

Scientist Kei Kawazu from the National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences in Japan and colleagues developed a high-throughput system for assessment of anti-herbivory/insecticidal genes in plants. This system involves transient expression of cry1Ab and MLX56 genes in the leaves of tobacco, tomato, and Arabidopsis through Agrobacterium-infiltration, and results can be available in 5-7 days.

Results showed that the transient expression of the cry1Ab gene in tobacco exhibited lethal effect on both cotton cutworm and cabbage armyworm larvae. In Arabidopsis, the gene also inhibited the feeding on diamondback moth larvae. On the other hand, the expression of MLX56 in tobacco and tomato increased the mortality of cabbage armyworm and cotton cutworm larvae. Increased growth inhibition of cotton cutworm larvae and feeding inhibition of diamondback moth larvae were also noted in tobacco and Arabidopsis leaves expressing MLX56 gene. Based on the results, the new system is effective for evaluation of anti-herbivory genes.

Read the research article at