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Plant Biotechnol J. 2004 May;2(3):189-97.

Immunomodulation confers herbicide resistance in plants.

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  • 1Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada.


In order to create a novel mechanism for herbicide resistance in plants, we expressed a single-chain antibody fragment (scFv) in tobacco with specific affinity to the auxinic herbicide picloram. Transgenic tobacco plants and seedlings expressing this scFv against picloram were protected from its effect in a dose-dependent manner. This is the first successful use of an antibody to confer in vivo resistance to a low molecular weight xenobiotic (i.e. < 1000 Da). Our results suggest the possibility for a generic antibody-based approach to create crops resistant to low molecular weight xenobiotics for subsequent use in the bioremediation of contaminated soils, crop protection and as novel selectable markers.

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