Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 627–638 | Cite as

Enhancement of resistance to aphids by introducing the snowdrop lectin genegna into maize plants

  • Zhaoyu Wang
  • Kewei Zhang
  • Xiaofen Sun
  • Kexuan Tang
  • Juren ZhangEmail author


In order to enhance the resistance to pests, transgenic maize (Zea mays L.) plants from elite inbred lines containing the gene encoding snowdrop lectin (Galanthus nivalis L. agglutinin; GNA) under control of a phloem-specific promoter were generated through theAgrobacterium tumefaciens- mediated method. The toxicity of GNA-expressing plants to aphids has also been studied. The independently derived plants were subjected to molecular analyses. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Southern blot analyses confirmed that thegna gene was integrated into maize genome and inherited to the following generations. The typical Mendelian patterns of inheritance occurred in most cases. The level of GNA expression at 0.13%-0.28% of total soluble protein was observed in different transgenic plants. The progeny of nine GNA-expressing independent transformants that were derived separately from the elite inbred lines DH4866, DH9942, and 8902, were selected for examination of resistance to aphids. These plants synthesized GNA at levels above 0.22% total soluble protein, and enhanced resistance to aphids was demonstrated by exposing the plants to corn leaf aphid (Rhopalosiphum maidis Fitch) under greenhouse conditions. The nymph production was significantly reduced by 46.9% on GNA-expressing plants. Field evaluation of the transgenic plants supported the results from the inoculation trial. After a series of artificial self-crosses, some homozygous transgenic maize lines expressing GNA were obtained. In the present study, we have obtained new insect-resistant maize material for further breeding work.


Agrobacterium tumefaciens aphid Galanthus nivalis L. agglutinin gene maize transgene 

Abbreviations used


Alkaline phosphatase


damage index


Galanthus nivalis L. agglutinin


polymerase chain reaction


relative damage index


rice sucrose synthase-1


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhaoyu Wang
    • 1
  • Kewei Zhang
    • 1
  • Xiaofen Sun
    • 2
  • Kexuan Tang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Juren Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Life Science SchoolShandong UniversityJinanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Genetic EngineeringSchool of Life Sciences, Fudan UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Plant Biotechnology Research CenterSchool of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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