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Digestive enzyme inhibitors and storage pest resistance in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) seeds

Summary

Amylase and trypsin inhibitors are proteins which inhibit digestive enzymes. The loss of the activity of these enzymes produces a reduction of starch and protein digestion. Amylase and trypsin inhibitor activity have been investigated in seeds of 20 cowpea lines in trying to establish their role in the storage pest resistance. A broad variation has been observed for both the inhibitors. Correlation analysis between inhibitor levels and extent of attack has shown that neither amylase nor trypsin inhibitors can separately explain the resistance to Callosobruchus maculatus (F.). Lines bruchid resistant in fact, have high levels of both inhibitors. Conversely lines with low levels of amylase and trypsin inhibitors are bruchid susceptible. The breeding for high contents of both amylase and trypsin inhibitors can be an effective way to obtain lines with resistance to storage pest.

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Piergiovanni, A.R., Sonnante, G., Gatta, C.D. et al. Digestive enzyme inhibitors and storage pest resistance in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) seeds. Euphytica 54, 191–194 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00039607

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Key words

  • Amylase inhibitors
  • breeding
  • Callosobruchus maculatus
  • cowpea genetic variation
  • resistance
  • trypsin inhibitors
  • Vigna unguiculata