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Asian Journal of Plant Sciences
Year: 2013  |  Volume: 12  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 128 - 136

Disease Resistance Conferred by Constitutive Expression of a Fungal Glucose Oxidase Gene in Transgenic Tobacco Plants

Palaniappan Selvakumar, Singaram Arvinth, Subbiyan Maruthasalam and Chin Ho Lin    

Abstract: Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) production is one of the most important plant defense responses to pathogen infection. In the present study, the endogenous H2O2 level of tobacco (Nicotiana tabaccum L. cv. ‘SR1’) plants were enhanced by constitutively expressing a Glucose Oxidase (GO) gene isolated from the fungus Aspergillus niger and the level of disease resistance was observed. An elevated level of H2O2 was confirmed in the GO-transformed tobacco plant leaf tissue. Transgenic tobacco plants exhibited resistance to leaf spot fungal disease and bacterial wilt disease due to increased levels of H2O2 accumulation (ranging from 159±16.78 to 355±13.89 μmol g-1 leaf tissue) when compared to wild tobacco plants (27.37±3.91 μmol g-1 leaf tissue). The increased accumulation of H2O2 in transgenic plants significantly delayed the infection of fungal target spot disease caused by Rhizoctonia solani. The artificial inoculation of R. solani to tobacco plant leaves completely covered the leaf surface (100%) of control wild plants at 7 days post inoculation (DPI), but the transgenic lines were resistant and only 50-70% of the leaf surface was infected 7 DPI. In case of Ralstonia solanacearum (causing bacterial wilt), the control tobacco plants completely wilted (80-100%) at 15 DPI. However, transgenic tobacco plants were significantly resistant to virulence of Ralstonia solanacearum and 30-50% of wilting symptoms appeared after 15 DPI. The level of H2O2 was increased approximately one-fold in infected transgenic tobacco plants relative to uninfected transgenic plants. Thus, the activation of H2O2 level in transgenic plants represents a novel approach for engineering broad-spectrum disease resistance in plants.

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