, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 260-265

Introduction and constitutive expression of a tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta ) chitinase gene in soybean

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Embryogenic soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill] cultures were transformed with a Manduca sexta chitinase (msc) gene using microprojectile bombardment. A 1.7 kb DNA fragment encoding a tobacco hornworm chitinase was cloned into the rice transformation vector pGL2, under the control of the maize ubiquitin promoter and linked to the hpt gene as a selectable marker. After bombardment, hygromycin-resistant tissues were isolated and cultured to give rise to clones of transgenic material. Four hygromycin-resistant clones were converted into plants. Two clones were positive for the msc gene via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Southern blot analysis. The integration inheritance, and expression of transgenes were confirmed by molecular analysis of transgenic soybean plants. Progeny analysis showed that the introduced genes were inherited and segregated in a 3:1 Mendelian fashion. DNA blot experiments and progeny inheritance analysis indicated that the plants contained several copies of the msc gene and that the insertion occurred at a single locus. Northern blotting analysis confirmed the expression of the transgenes. Western blot analysis of transgenic plants and their progeny revealed the presence of a protein with a molecular weight of 48kDa that reacted with the Manduca sexta antibody. Progeny from the chitinase-positive plants were tested for their resistance to the soybean cyst nematode. Plants expressing the insect chitinase did not manifest enhanced resistance to the soybean cyst nematode.