Biotech Updates

Overexpression of RCH10 chitinase Gene in Lilium Confers Resistance to Botrytis cinerea

March 11, 2015

Lilium is one of the major bulb crops in the world and is a major part of the ornamentals industry. The fungus Botrytis causes extreme economic losses to a wide range of crops, including Lilium. The success of the ornamentals industry depends on the introduction of new individuals with key characteristics, such as disease resistance.

University of Nottingham's Francisco F. Núñez de Cáceres González and Zoe A. Wilson used Agrobacterium-mediated transformation to develop Lilium oriental cv. ‘Star Gazer' plants overexpressing the Rice Chitinase 10 gene (RCH10). Levels of conferred resistance linked to chitinase expression were evaluated by infection with Botrytis cinerea. The trangenic plants showed resistance to Botrytis. The resistance also showed a direct correlation with chitinase gene expression. Moreover, transgenic plants grown to flowering showed no detrimental phenotypic effects associated with transgene expression.

This is the first report on Lilium with resistance to Botrytis cinerea developed through a transgenic approach.

For more on the study, read the full article on Springer Link.