Biotech Updates

Nematode Resistant Eggplant Developed Through Host-induced Silencing

April 17, 2019

RNA interference (RNAi)-based host-induced gene silencing (HIGS) is one of the new tools used in fighting phytonematode infection in crop plants. Mi-msp-1, an effector gene expressed in the subventral pharyngeal gland cells of root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) has a vital function in the parasitic process.

Scientists from Indian Agricultural Research Institute and other institutions generated six eggplant transformants with a single copy RNAi transgene of Mi-msp-1. The transgene was expressed in T1, T2 and T3 transgenic lines for which a detrimental effect on root-knot nematodes penetration, development and reproduction was documented upon challenge infection with nematode juveniles. Furthermore, the post-parasitic nematode stages derived from the transgenic plants exhibited long-term RNAi effect as manifested in the targeted downregulation of Mi-msp-1.

The results of the study imply that HIGS of Mi-msp-1 improved resistance to nematode in eggplant and protect the plant against RKN parasitism at the very early stage.

For more details, read the results published in Transgenic Research.