Biotech Updates

Harpin Protein Gene Confers Enhanced Resistance to Phytophthora Rot in Soybean

May 16, 2018

Phytophthora root and stem rot (PRR) caused by Phytophthora sojae is one of the most devastating diseases of soybean (Glycine max). Harpin proteins in plant pathogenic bacteria have been confirmed to enhance disease and insect resistance in crop plants. The team of Qian Du from Jilin University in China introduced a harpin protein-encoding gene, hrpZpsta (renamed hrpZm), from Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci and introduced it to soybean cultivars.

Three independent transgenic lines overexpressing hrpZm were obtained and exhibited enhanced tolerance to P. sojae infection compared to the non-transformed (NT) plants. Analysis revealed that the activities of defense-related enzymes increased significantly in the transgenic lines compared to the NT after inoculation.

These results suggest that overexpression of the hrpZm gene significantly enhanced PRR tolerance in soybean. This could provide an alternate approach for developing soybean varieties with improved tolerance against the soil-borne pathogens.

For more information, read the article in Transgenic Research.