Chapter

Novel Biotechnologies for Biocontrol Agent Enhancement and Management

Part of the series NATO Security through Science Series pp 297-305

APPROACHES TO AND SUCCESSES IN DEVELOPING TRANSGENICALLY ENHANCED MYCOHERBICIDES

  • Jonathan GresselAffiliated withPlant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • , Sagit MeirAffiliated withPlant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • , Yoav HerschkovitzAffiliated withPlant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science
  • , Hani Al-AhmadAffiliated withDepartment of Biology & Biotechnology, An-Najah National University
  • , Inbar GreenspoonAffiliated withFaculty of Agriculture, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • , Olubukola BabalolaAffiliated withDepartment of Microbiology, Olabisi Onabanjo University
  • , Ziva AmsellemAffiliated withPlant Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science

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Abstract

Inundative mycoherbicides have not been successful in weed control in row crops, probably due to evolutionary barriers, and adding virulence factors was considered essential. Exogenous addition of the products of various geneswas used to ascertain synergy as a prelude to adding them transgenically. Transgenically over-expressing single “soft” genes (host lytic enzymes such as pectinase, cellulase and expansins, or natural hormones such as IAA), or “hard” genes encoding toxins such as NEP1 and CP1, has enhanced virulence, but not enough. Gene stacking to obtain synergies among the various genes is considered a top priority, both to achieve sufficient virulence and to delay the evolution of weed resistance to the fungal pathogens.