Fungal pathogen protection in potato by expression of a plant defensin peptide

Nat Biotechnol. 2000 Dec;18(12):1307-10. doi: 10.1038/82436.

Abstract

Defensins are small cysteine-rich peptides with antimicrobial activity. We demonstrate that the alfalfa antifungal peptide (alfAFP) defensin isolated from seeds of Medicago sativa displays strong activity against the agronomically important fungal pathogen Verticillium dahliae. Expression of the alfAFP peptide in transgenic potato plants provides robust resistance in the greenhouse. Importantly, this resistance is maintained under field conditions. There have been no previous demonstrations of a single transgene imparting a disease resistance phenotype that is at least equivalent to those achieved through current practices using fumigants.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Defensins / chemistry
  • Defensins / genetics*
  • Defensins / metabolism
  • Defensins / pharmacology*
  • Medicago sativa / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / growth & development
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / metabolism
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / microbiology
  • Solanum tuberosum / genetics*
  • Solanum tuberosum / metabolism
  • Solanum tuberosum / microbiology*
  • Transgenes / genetics
  • Transgenes / physiology
  • Verticillium / drug effects*
  • Verticillium / growth & development

Substances

  • Defensins