Expression of a potato antimicrobial peptide SN1 increases resistance to take-all pathogen Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici in transgenic wheat

Wei Rong, Lin Qi, Jingfen Wang, Lipu Du, Huijun Xu, Aiyun Wang, Zengyan Zhang
Functional & Integrative Genomics 2013, 13 (3): 403-9
Take-all, caused by soil-borne fungus Gaeumannomyces graminis var. tritici (Ggt), is a devastating root disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum) worldwide. Breeding resistant wheat cultivars is the most promising and reliable approach to protect wheat from take-all. Currently, no resistant wheat germplasm is available to breed cultivars using traditional methods. In this study, gene transformation was carried out using Snakin-1 (SN1) gene isolated from potato (Solanum tuberosum) because the peptide shows broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity in vitro. Purified SN1 peptide also inhibits in vitro the growth of Ggt mycelia. By bombardment-mediated method, the gene SN1 was transformed into Chinese wheat cultivar Yangmai 18 to generate SN1 transgenic wheat lines, which were used to assess the effectiveness of the SN1 peptide in protecting wheat from Ggt. Genomic PCR and Southern blot analyses indicated that the alien gene SN1 was integrated into the genomes of five transgenic wheat lines and heritable from T₀ to T₄ progeny. Reverse transcription-PCR and Western blot analyses showed that the introduced SN1 gene was transcribed and highly expressed in the five transgenic wheat lines. Following challenging with Ggt, disease test results showed that compared to segregants lacking the transgene and untransformed wheat plants, these five transgenic wheat lines expressing SN1 displayed significantly enhanced resistance to take-all. These results suggest that SN1 may be a potentially transgenic tool for improving the take-all resistance of wheat.

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