Biotechnology Letters, Vol.26, No.23, 1809-1814, 2004
Pest and disease resistance enhanced by heterologous suppression of a Nicotiana plumbaginifolia cytochrome P450 gene CYP72A2
The functional role of the Nicotiana plumbaginifolia cytochrome P450 gene CYP72A2 was investigated in transgenic plants. N. tabacum plants transformed with a sense or antisense CYP72A2 construct exhibited diminished heights, branched stems, smaller leaves and deformed flowers. Western blot analysis revealed reduced levels of a 58 kDa protein corresponding to CYP72A2, suggesting that the CYP72A2 homolog was suppressed in the sense and antisense plants. Transgenic plants had increased resistance to Manduca sexta larvae that consumed about 35% to 90% less of transgenic versus control leaves. A virulent strain of Pseudonionas syringae pv. tabaci induced a disease-limiting response followed by a delayed and decreased development of disease symptoms in the transgenics. CYP72A2 gene mediated resistance suggests that the plant-pest or -pathogen interactions may have been modified by changes in bioactive metabolite pools.