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Crop Biotech Update

Production of Antibacterial BP178 Peptide in Rice Seed Endosperm

March 22, 2017

The BP178 peptide is a synthetic BP100-magainin derivative that has an inhibitory activity against plant pathogenic bacteria, and thus, possesses great potential for applications in crop protection. The team of Laura Montesinos from the University of Girona in Spain now describes the production and recovery of BP178 peptide by using rice seeds as biofactories.

The team introduced a synthetic gene encoding BP178 peptide in rice plants. The gene was efficiently expressed in transgenic rice under the control of an endosperm-specific promoter, with the best results obtained by using the Globulin 1 promoter. The BP178 peptide accumulated in the endosperm and was easily recovered from rice seeds, yielding 21 μg/g seed. The transgene was also found to be stably inherited for at least three generations, and peptide accumulation remained stable during long term storage of seeds.

The purified peptide showed in vitro activity against the bacterial plant pathogen Dickeya sp., the causal agent of the dark brown sheath rot of rice. Seedlings of transgenics also showed enhanced resistance to the fungi Fusarium verticillioides, proving that the produced peptide was biologically active.

For more information, read the full article in BMCPlant Biology.