Journal Article

Transgenic wheat expressing a barley class II chitinase gene has enhanced resistance against <i>Fusarium graminearum</i>

Sanghyun Shin, Caroline A. Mackintosh, Janet Lewis, Shane J. Heinen, Lorien Radmer, Ruth Dill-Macky, Gerald D. Baldridge, Richard J. Zeyen and Gary J. Muehlbauer

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 59, issue 9, pages 2371-2378
Published in print June 2008 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online May 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/ern103

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Fusarium head blight (FHB; scab), primarily caused by Fusarium graminearum, is a devastating disease of wheat worldwide. FHB causes yield reductions and contamination of grains with trichothecene mycotoxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON). The genetic variation in existing wheat germplasm pools for FHB resistance is low and may not provide sufficient resistance to develop cultivars through traditional breeding approaches. Thus, genetic engineering provides an additional approach to enhance FHB resistance. The objectives of this study were to develop transgenic wheat expressing a barley class II chitinase and to test the transgenic lines against F. graminearum infection under greenhouse and field conditions. A barley class II chitinase gene was introduced into the spring wheat cultivar, Bobwhite, by biolistic bombardment. Seven transgenic lines were identified that expressed the chitinase transgene and exhibited enhanced Type II resistance in the greenhouse evaluations. These seven transgenic lines were tested under field conditions for percentage FHB severity, percentage visually scabby kernels (VSK), and DON accumulation. Two lines (C8 and C17) that exhibited high chitinase protein levels also showed reduced FHB severity and VSK compared to Bobwhite. One of the lines (C8) also exhibited reduced DON concentration compared with Bobwhite. These results showed that transgenic wheat expressing a barley class II chitinase exhibited enhanced resistance against F. graminearum in greenhouse and field conditions.

Keywords: Chitinase; Fusarium graminearum; Fusarium head blight; transformation; wheat

Journal Article.  5319 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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