Apoptosis-related genes confer resistance to Fusarium wilt in transgenic ‘Lady Finger’ bananas

Paul, Jean-Yves, Becker, Douglas K., Dickman, Martin B., Harding, Robert M., Khanna, Harjeet K., & Dale, James L. (2011) Apoptosis-related genes confer resistance to Fusarium wilt in transgenic ‘Lady Finger’ bananas. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 9(9), pp. 1141-1148.

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Fusarium wilt, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc), is one of the most devastating diseases of banana (Musa spp.). Apart from resistant cultivars, there are no effective control measures for the disease. We investigated whether the transgenic expression of apoptosis-inhibition related genes in banana could be used to confer disease resistance. Embryogenic cell suspensions of the banana cultivar, ‘Lady Finger’, were stably transformed with animal genes that negatively regulate apoptosis, namely Bcl-xL, Ced-9 and Bcl-2 3’ UTR, and independently transformed plant lines were regenerated for testing. Following a 12 week exposure to Foc race 1 in small-plant glasshouse bioassays, seven transgenic lines (2 x Bcl-xL, 3 x Ced-9 and 2 x Bcl-2 3’ UTR) showed significantly less internal and external disease symptoms than the wild-type susceptible ‘Lady Finger’ banana plants used as positive controls. Of these, one Bcl-2 3’ UTR line showed resistance that was equivalent to that of wild-type Cavendish bananas that were included as resistant negative controls. Further, the resistance of this line continued for 23 weeks post-inoculation at which time the experiment was terminated. Using TUNEL assays, Foc race 1 was shown to induce apoptosis-like features in the roots of wild-type ‘Lady Finger’ plants consistent with a necrotrophic phase in the lifecycle of this pathogen. This was further supported by the observed reduction of these effects in the roots of the resistant Bcl-2 3’ UTR transgenic line. This is the first report on the generation of transgenic banana plants with resistance to Fusarium wilt.

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ID Code: 47028
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: banana, fusarium wilt, programmed cell death, necrotroph, apoptosis
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7652.2011.00639.x
ISSN: 1467-7644
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES (070000) > CROP AND PASTURE PRODUCTION (070300) > Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests Diseases and Weeds) (070308)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Tropical Crops and Biocommodities
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 The Authors, Plant Biotechnology Journal, Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Deposited On: 15 Nov 2011 22:42
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2011 04:56

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