, Volume 85, Issue 1-3, pp 173-180

Synergistic activity of chitinases and β-1,3-glucanases enhances fungal resistance in transgenic tomato plants

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Simultaneous expression of a tobacco class I chitinase and a class I β-1,3-glucanase gene in tomato resulted in increased fungal resistance, whereas transgenic tomato plants expressing either one of these genes were not protected against fungal infection. After infection with Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lycopersici, a 36% to 58% reduction in disease severity was observed in resistant tomato lines. Two transgenic lines largely recovered from the initial infection by the time wild-type tomato plants had died.

The overall results are consistent with the observation that class I chitinases and class I β-1,3-glucanases synergistically inhibit the growth of fungi in vitro and provide the first experimental support to the hypothesis that such synergy can contribute to enhanced fungal resistance in planta.