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Plant Cell. 1995 Oct;7(10):1537-44.

Intergeneric transfer and functional expression of the tomato disease resistance gene Pto.

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Department of Plant Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720, USA.


Plant disease resistance loci have been used successfully in breeding programs to transfer traits from resistant germplasm to susceptible plant cultivars. The molecular cloning of plant disease resistance genes now permits the transfer of such traits across species boundaries by genetic transformation of recipient hosts. The tomato disease resistance gene Pto confers resistance to strains of the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato expressing the avirulence gene avrPto. Transformation of Nicotiana benthamiana with Pto results in specific resistance to P. s. pv tabaci strains carrying avrPto. The resistant phenotype is manifested by a strong inhibition of bacterial growth and the ability to exhibit a hypersensitive response. Resistance cosegregates with the Pto gene in transgene selfings and testcrosses. Our results demonstrate the conservation of disease resistance functions across genus boundaries and suggest that the utility of host-specific resistance genes can be extended by intergeneric transfer.

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