Expression of a Bacillus thuringiensis toxin (cry1Ab) gene in cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata L.) chloroplasts confers high insecticidal efficacy against Plutella xylostella
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Chloroplast genetic engineering is an environmentally friendly approach, where the foreign integrated gene is often expressed at a higher level than nuclear transformation. The cry1Ab gene was successfully transferred into the cabbage chloroplast genome in this study. The aadA and cry1Ab genes were inserted into the pASCC201 vector and driven by the prrn promoter. The cabbage-specific plastid vectors were transferred into the chloroplasts of cabbage via particle gun mediated transformation. Regenerated plantlets were selected by their resistance to spectinomycin and streptomycin. According to antibiotic selection, the regeneration percentage of the two cabbage cultivars was 4–5%. The results of PCR, Southern, Northern hybridization and western analyses indicated that the aadA and cry1Ab genes were not only successfully integrated into the chloroplast genome, but functionally expressed at the mRNA and protein level. Expression of Cry1Ab protein was detected in the range of 4.8–11.1% of total soluble protein in transgenic mature leaves of the two species. Insecticidal effects on Plutella xylostella were also demonstrated in cry1Ab transformed cabbage. The objectives of this study were to establish a gene transformation system for Brassica chloroplasts, and to study the possibility for insect-resistance in dicot vegetables using chloroplast gene transformation.
KeywordsTransgenic Plant Chloroplast Genome Spectinomycin Plastid Transformation Transplastomic Plant
We gratefully acknowledge the support provided by Professor Liang-Jwu Chen for the donation of plasmid pKcBn. This research was supported by funds from the National Science Council, Taiwan (NSC 94-2752-B-005-005-PAE to Menq-Jiau Tseng).
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