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American Journal of Plant Physiology
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 4  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 70 - 79

Expression of the Capsicuum annum (Chili) Defensin Gene in Transgenic Tomatoes Confers Enhanced Resistance to Fungal Pathogens

Z. Zainal, E. Marouf, I. Ismail and C.K. Fei    

Abstract: Plant defensins are a group of pathogenesis-related defense mechanism proteins. Transgenic tomato plants expressing the chili defensin gene under the control of a Cauliflower Mosaic Virus 35S (CaMV 35S) promoter were generated. The 5 kDa peptide, corresponding to the chili defensin protein was detected in the total protein fraction extracted from the transgenic plants. When compared to partially-purified peptide extracts from untransformed tomato plants, those from transgenic plant possessed the ability to reduce the growth of several fungi in vitro. T2 transgenic plants were selected and tested for resistance against Fusarium sp. and Phytophthora infestans. The transgenic lines were more resistant to infection by these pathogens than the control plants.

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