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Crop Biotech Update

Confined Expression of Bt Protein in Insect Wounding Parts of Potato Plants

October 25, 2017

Scientists from Turkey conducted a study to investigate the importance of targeted expression of a hybrid insecticidal gene (SN19) in potato plants. The result is published in Plant Biotechnology Reports.

The researchers constructed two plant expression vectors through cloning hybrid SN19 gene under the control of a promoter isolated from Asparagus and CaMV 35S promoter, and were transferred to Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain EHA 105. Four varieties of potatoes (Marabel, Innovator, Tokat 10/1 and Tokat 6/24) were transformed with EHA 105 strain harboring the constructs.

Results of the polymerase chain reaction showed 43 out of the 154 transgenic plants expressed SN19, which was further confirmed by Western blot assays. The mechanical wounding of transgenic plants exhibited higher levels of SN19 proteins during post wounding period. Leaf biotoxicity assays with Colorado potato beetle and tomato leafminer exhibited 100% mortality of the pests in the transgenic potato plants.

Based on the results, it was concluded that the potato transgenic lines exhibited targeted expression of insecticidal gene upon insect wounding with eliminated toxicity of Cry protein.

Read the research article in Plant Biotechnology Reports.