, 228:331 | Cite as

Expressing a gene encoding wheat oxalate oxidase enhances resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in oilseed rape (Brassica napus)

  • Xiangbai Dong
  • Ruiqin Ji
  • Xuelan Guo
  • Simon J. Foster
  • Hong Chen
  • Caihua Dong
  • Yueying Liu
  • Qiong Hu
  • Shengyi LiuEmail author
Original Article


Sclerotinia sclerotiorum causes a highly destructive disease in oilseed rape (Brassica napus). Oxalic acid (OA) secreted by the pathogen is a key pathogenicity factor. Oxalate oxidase (OXO) can oxidize OA into CO2 and H2O2. In this study, we show that transgenic oilseed rape (sixth generation lines) constitutively expressing wheat (Triticum aestivum) OXO displays considerably increased OXO activity and enhanced resistance to S. sclerotiorum (with up to 90.2 and 88.4% disease reductions compared with the untransformed parent line and a resistant control, respectively). Upon application of exogenous OA, the pH values in transgenic plants were maintained at levels slightly lower than 5.58 measured prior to OA treatment, whereas the pH values in untransformed plants decreased rapidly and were markedly lower than 5.63 measured prior to OA treatment. Following pathogen inoculation, H2O2 levels were higher in transgenic plants than in untransformed plants. These results indicate that the enhanced resistance of the OXO transgenic oilseed rape to Sclerotinia is probably mediated by OA detoxification. We believe that enhancing the OA metabolism of oilseed rape in this way will be an effective strategy for improving resistance to S. sclerotiorum.


Hydrogen peroxide Oilseed rape Oxalic acid Oxalate oxidase Resistance Sclerotinia 





Oxalic acid


Oxalate oxidase




Percentage branches with lesions


Percentage stem circumference with lesions



This work was supported by the Hi-Tech Research and Development Program of China (2006AA10A112 and JY04-B-01), National Natural Science Foundation of China (30671344). We thank Rhone-Poulenc Agrochimie (Lyon, France) for the kind gift of the cDNA encoding wheat oxalate oxidase. We are grateful to Zhixing Wang (Institute of Biotechnology, CAAS, Beijing, China) for kindly providing the pTΩ4A vector. We thank Yuandi Zhao and Qiuju Zou (Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China) for the in situ and real-time pH value measurement.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiangbai Dong
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ruiqin Ji
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
  • Xuelan Guo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Simon J. Foster
    • 4
  • Hong Chen
    • 5
  • Caihua Dong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yueying Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qiong Hu
    • 6
  • Shengyi Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.The Key Laboratory of Genetic Improvement for Oil CropsThe Ministry of AgricultureWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Functional Genomics and Molecular BiologyOil Crops Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (OCRI-CAAS)WuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Institute of BotanyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.The Sainsbury LaboratoryJohn Innes CentreNorwichUK
  5. 5.Department of Analytic Chemistry and Food QualityOCRI-CAASWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  6. 6.Department of Genetics and BreedingOCRI-CAASWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  7. 7.College of Horticultural SciencesShenyang Agricultural UniversityShenyangPeople’s Republic of China

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