Biotech Updates

Systemin Overexpression in Tomato Enhances Its Resistance to Biotic Stresses

September 2, 2015

Systemin is a signal peptide that promotes the response to wounding and herbivore attack in tomato. This peptide is released from a larger precursor, prosystemin. To study the role of systemin, Mariangela Coppola from Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II and a team of scientists generated transgenic tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plants that overexpress the prosystemin cDNA.

The transgenic lines were found to be more resistant against various biotic stresses such as aphids, phytopathogenic fungi, and phytophagous larvae. Analysis found that systemin promotes an array of defense genes that are dependent on different signalling pathways. It also downregulates genes connected with carbon fixation and carbohydrate metabolism.

Their results demonstrate that in tomato, the modulation of a single gene is sufficient to provide a wide range of resistance against stress by boosting endogenous defense pathways.

For more on the study, read the full article on Plant Molecular Biology Reporter.