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Plant Cell. 1995 Sep;7(9):1357-68.

Disease resistance conferred by expression of a gene encoding H2O2-generating glucose oxidase in transgenic potato plants.

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  • 1Monsanto Company, St. Louis, Missouri 63198, USA.


Plant defense responses to pathogen infection involve the production of active oxygen species, including hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). We obtained transgenic potato plants expressing a fungal gene encoding glucose oxidase, which generates H2O2 when glucose is oxidized. H2O2 levels were elevated in both leaf and tuber tissues of these plants. Transgenic potato tubers exhibited strong resistance to a bacterial soft rot disease caused by Erwinia carotovora subsp carotovora, and disease resistance was sustained under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions of bacterial infection. This resistance to soft rot was apparently mediated by elevated levels of H2O2, because the resistance could be counteracted by exogenously added H2O2-degrading catalase. The transgenic plants with increased levels of H2O2 also exhibited enhanced resistance to potato late blight caused by Phytophthora infestans. The development of lesions resulting from infection by P. infestans was significantly delayed in leaves of these plants. Thus, the expression of an active oxygen species-generating enzyme in transgenic plants represents a novel approach for engineering broad-spectrum disease resistance in plants.

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