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Plant Cell Rep. 2006 Apr;25(4):297-303. Epub 2005 Oct 11.

Expression of sarcotoxin IA gene via a root-specific tob promoter enhanced host resistance against parasitic weeds in tomato plants.

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  • 1Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), Department of Weed Research, Newe Yaar Research Center, Ramat Yishai, 30095 Ramat, Israel. radi@volcani.agri.gov.il


We have developed a simple genetic engineering strategy for conferring resistance against parasitic weeds on host plants. Transgenic tomato plants expressing the sarcotoxin IA gene were grown either in polyethylene bags (PE) or in pots inoculated with Orobanche aegyptiaca seeds. The results indicate that transgenic plants exhibited strong inhibition of parasite growth and significantly increased yield as compared with non-transgenic ones. In both PE and pot systems most of the parasite tubercles attached to the transgenic root plants turned necrotic and developed abnormally. Integration and expression of the gene were confirmed by Southern blot, RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Our results indicate that the insect gene produced in the plant cells was selectively toxic to the parasite and non-toxic to the host plant.

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