International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol.10, No.4, 1896-1910, 2009
Overexpression of a Weed (Solanum americanum) Proteinase Inhibitor in Transgenic Tobacco Results in Increased Glandular Trichome Density and Enhanced Resistance to Helicoverpa armigera and Spodoptera litura
In this study we produced transgenic tobacco plants by overexpressing a serine proteinase inhibitor gene, SaPIN2a, from the American black nightshade Solanum americanum under the control of the CaMV 35S promoter using Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. SaPIN2a was properly transcribed and translated as indicated by Northern blot and Western blot analyses. Functional integrity of SaPIN2a in transgenic plants was confirmed by proteinase inhibitory activity assay. Bioassays for insect resistance showed that SaPIN2a-overexpressing transgenic tobacco plants were more resistant to cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) and tobacco cutworm (Spodoptera litura) larvae, two devastating pests of important crop plants, than the control plants. Interestingly, overexpression of SaPIN2a in transgenic tobacco plants resulted in a significant increase in glandular trichome density and a promotion of trichome branching, which could also provide an additional resistance mechanism in transgenic plants against insect pests. Therefore, SaPIN2a could be used as an alternative proteinase inhibitor for the production of insect-resistant transgenic plants.