Plant Biotechnology Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 83–94 | Cite as

Towards better insect management strategy: restriction of insecticidal gene expression to biting sites in transgenic cotton

  • Emine Anayol
  • Allah BakhshEmail author
  • Ömer Cem Karakoç
  • Selma Onarıcı
  • Deniz Köm
  • Muhammad Aasim
  • Sancar Fatih Özcan
  • Surendra Barpete
  • Saber D. Khabbazi
  • Burak Önol
  • Cengiz Sancak
  • Khalid M. Khawar
  • Levent Ünlü
  • Sebahattin ÖzcanEmail author
Original Article


Most of the commercialized Bt crops express cry genes under 35S promoter that induces strong gene expression in all plant parts. However, targeted foreign gene expression in plants is esteemed more important as public may be likely to accept ‘less intrusive’ expression of transgene. We developed plant expression constructs harboring cry1Ac gene under control of wound-inducible promoter (AoPR1) to confine Bt gene expression in insect wounding parts of the plants in comparison with cry1Ac gene under the control of 35S promoter. The constructs were used to transform four Turkish cotton cultivars (GSN-12, STN-468, Ozbek-100 and Ayhan-107) through Agrobacterium tumefaciens strains GV2260 containing binary vectors p35SAcBAR.101 and AoPR1AcBAR.101 harboring cry1Ac gene under control of 35S and AoPR1, respectively. Phosphinothricin (PPT) was used at concentration of 5 mg L−1 for selection of primary transformants. The primary transformants were analyzed for transgene presence and expression standard molecular techniques. The transformants exhibited appreciable mortality rates against larvae of Spodoptera exigua and S. littoralis. It was found that mechanical wounding of T 1 transgenic plants was effective in inducing expression of cry1Ac protein as accumulated levels of cry1Ac protein increased during post-wounding period. We conclude that use of wound-inducible promoter to drive insecticidal gene(s) can be regarded as a valuable insect-resistant management strategy since the promoter activity is limited to insect biting sites of plant. There is no Bt toxin accumulation in unwounded plant organs, seed and crop residues, cotton products and by-products, thus minimizing food and environmental concerns.


Genetic modification Insect resistance Confined expression Insect management 



The work on development of transgenic cotton in our laboratory is being supported by grants from Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey TÜBİTAK (Project No. 111O254). The authors acknowledge contribution and support of TÜBİTAK. The authors are also thankful to Leicester University (UK) for giving permission to use AoPR1 promoter for research purposes.


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Copyright information

© Korean Society for Plant Biotechnology and Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emine Anayol
    • 1
  • Allah Bakhsh
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ömer Cem Karakoç
    • 3
  • Selma Onarıcı
    • 4
  • Deniz Köm
    • 5
  • Muhammad Aasim
    • 6
  • Sancar Fatih Özcan
    • 1
  • Surendra Barpete
    • 5
  • Saber D. Khabbazi
    • 5
  • Burak Önol
    • 5
  • Cengiz Sancak
    • 5
  • Khalid M. Khawar
    • 5
  • Levent Ünlü
    • 7
  • Sebahattin Özcan
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Central Research Institute for Field CropsMinistry of Food, Agriculture and LivestockAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural Genetic EngineeringUniversity of NiğdeNiğdeTurkey
  3. 3.Yapraklı Vocational SchoolUniversity of Çankırı KaratekinÇankırıTurkey
  4. 4.Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology InstituteScientific and Technical Council of TurkeyGebze-KocaeliTurkey
  5. 5.Department of Field Crops, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of AnkaraAnkaraTurkey
  6. 6.Department of BiologyUniversity of Karamanoğlu Mehmet BeyKaramanTurkey
  7. 7.Department of Plant ProtectionUniversity of SelcukKonyaTurkey

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