, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 185-196

Genetic transformation of Rangpur lime (Citrus limonia osbeck) with thebO (bacterio-opsin) genen and its initial evaluation forPhytophthora nicotianae resistance

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Transgenic plants expressing the bacterio-opsin (bO) gene can spontaneously activate programmed cell death (ped) and may enhance broad-spectrum pathogen resistance by activating an intrinsic defense pathway in plant species such as tobacco and potato. In this work, we produced transgenic Rangpur lime plants with thebO gene, viaAgrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation, and evaluated these plants forPhytophthora nicotianae resistance. Two transgenic lines were successfully regenerated and transformation was confirmed by GUS activity assay, PCR analysis, Southern, Northern and Western blot analyses, in addition to detecting the expressed bO protein by an immunological approach. Evaluation forPhytophthora nicotianae resistance was carried out by plant inoculations with the pathogen and quantification of the affected area. One of the two transgenic lines showed greater tolerance to the fungal pathogen as compared to the control, with significantly smaller stem lesions after pathogen challenge. This increase in pathogen tolerance is correlated with a significantly higher level of transgene expression in this line when compared with the other transgenic line. This is the first report of the introduction of a potentially important gene into Rangpur lime to provide novel pathogen tolerance.