Transgenic cotton expressing synthesized scorpion insect toxin AaHIT gene confers enhanced resistance to cotton bollworm (Heliothis armigera) larvae
A synthetic scorpion Hector Insect Toxin (AaHIT) gene, under the control of a CaMV35S promoter, was cloned into cotton via Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. Southern blot analyses indicated that integration of the transgene varied from one to more than three estimated copies per genome; seven homozygous transgenic lines with one copy of the T-DNA insert were then selected by PCR and Southern blot analysis. AaHIT expression was from 0.02 to 0.43% of total soluble protein determined by western blot. These homozygous transgenic lines killed larvae of cotton bollworm (Heliothis armigera) by 44–98%. The AaHIT gene could used therefore an alternative to Bt toxin and proteinase inhibitor genes for producing transgenic cotton crops with effective control of bollworm.