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Transgenic Res. 1993 May;2(3):170-80.

Insect-resistant chrysanthemum calluses by introduction of a Bacillus thuringiensis crystal protein gene.

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Department of Developmental Biology, DLO-Centre for Plant Breeding and Reproduction Research (CPRO-DLO), Wageningen, Netherlands.


A 3'-end truncated crystal protein gene, derived from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) subsp. aizawai 7.21, encoding the toxic fragment of the insecticidal protein cryIA(b), was constructed. The gene was inserted into a transformation vector, also carrying the neomycin phosphotransferase II (nptII) gene and the beta-glucuronidase (gus) gene, and introduced in the oncogenic Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain A281, harbouring the Ti-plasmid pTiBO542. The recombinant Agrobacterium strain was used to transform leaf explants of chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflora) cultivar Parliament. The resulting tumours were kanamycin-resistant, exhibited beta-glucuronidase activity and produced agropine and mannopine. In most tumours, all simultaneously transferred genes were expressed, owing to selection for the presence of both T-DNAs, but no correlation was found between the level of expression of the various genes. A bioassay was developed, in which larvae were fed with tumorous chrysanthemum tissue, in order to detect the effect of the transferred toxin gene on larval development. Using this bioassay with second instar larvae of Heliothis virescens (tobacco budworm), 17 tumour lines were tested. Several of these lines proved to be strongly inhibitory to larval growth. These results indicate that Bt-based insect resistance might be used as a tool in reducing the amount of pesticides used in chrysanthemum culture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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