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Expression of the β-1,3-glucanase gene bgn13.1 from Trichoderma harzianum in strawberry increases tolerance to crown rot diseases but interferes with plant growth

AuthorsMercado Carmona, J. A.; Barceló Muñoz, Marta; Pliego, Clara; Rey, Manuel; Caballero Repullo, J. L.; Muñoz-Blanco, Juan; Ruano Rosa, David ; López Herrera, Carlos ; Santos, Berta de los; Romero-Muñoz, Fernando; Pliego-Alfaro, Fernando
Colletotrichum acutatum
Fragaria × ananassa
Fungal resistance
Rosellinia necatrix
Transgenic plants
White root rot
Issue DateDec-2015
CitationTransgenic research 24(6): 979-989 (2015)
AbstractThe expression of antifungal genes from Trichoderma harzianum, mainly chitinases, has been used to confer plant resistance to fungal diseases. However, the biotechnological potential of glucanase genes from Trichoderma has been scarcely assessed. In this research, transgenic strawberry plants expressing the β-1,3-glucanase gene bgn13.1 from T. harzianum, under the control of the CaMV35S promoter, have been generated. After acclimatization, five out of 12 independent lines analysed showed a stunted phenotype when growing in the greenhouse. Moreover, most of the lines displayed a reduced yield due to both a reduction in the number of fruit per plant and a lower fruit size. Several transgenic lines showing higher glucanase activity in leaves than control plants were selected for pathogenicity tests. When inoculated with Colletotrichum acutatum, one of the most important strawberry pathogens, transgenic lines showed lower anthracnose symptoms in leaf and crown than control. In the three lines selected, the percentage of plants showing anthracnose symptoms in crown decreased from 61 % to a mean value of 16.5 %, in control and transgenic lines, respectively. Some transgenic lines also showed an enhanced resistance to Rosellinia necatrix, a soil-borne pathogen causing root and crown rot in strawberry. These results indicate that bgn13.1 from T. harzianum can be used to increase strawberry tolerance to crown rot diseases, although its constitutive expression affects plant growth and fruit yield. Alternative strategies such as the use of tissue specific promoters might avoid the negative effects of bgn13.1 expression in plant performance.
Publisher version (URL)http://doi.org/10.1007/s11248-015-9895-3
Appears in Collections:(IAS) Artículos
(IHSM) Artículos
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