Biotech Updates

Cry1Ac in Tomato Confers Resistance to Tomato Leaf Miner

September 20, 2017

Tomato leaf miner (Tuta absoluta) is a major pest of tomato. This insect feeds on almost every part of the plant, causing plant death. Furthermore, this pest is difficult to control with chemical sprays. Researchers from Izmir Institute of Technology and Akdeniz University in Turkey transformed a modified Bacillus thuringiensis cry1Ac gene into tomato plants via Agrobacterium tumefaciens mediated transformation.

Four transgenic lines expressing the Cry1Ac transgene were generated by the team. Expression of the Cry1Ac protein in tomato resulted in T. absoluta mortality rates ranging from 38–100%. Moreover, it was found that a single copy of the gene in the hemizygous condition is sufficient to confer tolerance to the leaf miner.

This study could provide the foundation for developing transgenic commercial tomato cultivars resistant to leaf miner.

For more on this study, read the article in Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture.