Differential leaf resistance to insects of transgenic sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) expressing tobacco anionic peroxidase
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- Dowd, P., Lagrimini, L. & Herms, D. CMLS, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (1998) 54: 712. doi:10.1007/s000180050198
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Leaves of transgenic sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) trees that expressed tobacco anionic peroxidase were compared with leaves of L. styraciflua trees that did not express the tobacco enzyme. Leaves of the transgenic trees were generally more resistant to feeding by caterpillars and beetles than wild-type leaves. However, as for past studies with transgenic tobacco and tomato expressing the tobacco anionic peroxidase, the degree of relative resistance depended on the size of insect used and the maturity of the leaf. Decreased growth of gypsy moth larvae appeared mainly due to decreased consumption, and not changes in the nutritional quality of the foliage. Transgenic leaves were more susceptible to feeding by the corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea. Thus, it appears the tobacco anionic peroxidase can contribute to insect resistance, but its effects are more predictable when it is expressed in plant species more closely related to the original gene source.