Biotech Updates

Transgenic Wheat Expressing Avidin Gene Shows Resistance to Wheat Weevil

July 22, 2015

The wheat weevil Sitophilus granarius is a serious insect pest in wheat growing areas worldwide and is responsible for significant loss of yield. Previous studies have found that avidin proteins function as plant defense agents against insect pests.

A team researchers led by Dr. Ahmed Bahieldin, a faculty for both the King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia and the Ain Shams University in Egypt, introduced a synthetic avidin gene into spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cv. Giza 168. The presence and expression of the transgene in selected transgenic wheat lines were confirmed at the molecular level.

Accumulation of avidin protein was detected in transgenic plants compared to non-transgenic plants. Analysis also found that the avidin transgene was expressed at a high level in transgenic wheat seeds. Functional integrity of avidin was also confirmed as transgenic wheat plants infested with wheat weevil after 21 days caused 100% mortality on the reared insects.

For more information, read the full study on BMC Plant Biology.