Transformation and expression of a stilbene synthase gene of Vitis vinifera L. in barley and wheat for increased fungal resistance
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Transformation of barley and wheat via particle bombardment with a gene derived from Vitis vinifera L. (Vst1 gene) resulted in the expression of the foreign phytoalexin, resveratrol, in the transformed plants. Transgenic barley plants were regenerated from microspores and transgenic wheat plants from immature embryos were both selected on Basta. Stable integration of the gene in the genomes of transgenic barley and wheat plants, as well as their progeny, was analysed by Southern-blot analysis. The induction of the stilbene synthase promoter and the transient expression of stilbene synthase-specific mRNA after induction by wounding and infection were proofed in T1 and T2 progeny plants. An enhanced expression of the Vst1 gene under control of the stilbene synthase promoter was observed with enhancer sequences from the cauliflower mosaic virus 35s (CaMV 35s) promoter. The enzyme activity of the stilbene synthase was analysed in T1 progeny plants. The first pathological results indicated an increased resistance of transgenic barley plants to Botrytis cinerea used as a model experimental system.
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