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Bt rice harbouring cry genes controlled by a constitutive or wound-inducible promoter : Protection and transgene expression under Mediterranean field conditions

Breitler J.C., Vassal J.M., Del Mar Catala M., Meynard D., Marfa V., Melé E., Royer M., Murillo I., San Segundo B., Guiderdoni E., Messeguer J.. 2004. Plant Biotechnology Journal, 2 (5) : p. 417-430.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7652.2004.00086.x

Seven homozygous transgenic lines of two European commercial cultivars of rice (Ariete (A) and Senia (S)), harbouring the cry 1B or cry 1Aa Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) [delta]-endotoxin genes, were field evaluated for protection from striped stem borer (SSB) (Chilo suppressalis) damage during the 2001 and 2002 summer crop seasons in the Delta de l'Ebre region, Spain. The plant codon-optimized toxin gene was placed under the control of the promoter of either the constitutive ubi 1 gene or the wound-inducible mpi gene from maize. Stable, high-level, insecticidal protein accumulation was observed throughout root, leaf and seed tissues of field-grown plants harbouring the cry 1B (Iines A64.1, A33.1, A3.4 and S98.9) or cry 1Aa (lines S05.1 and A19.14) genes under the control of the ubi 1 promoter. Conversely, no toxin was detected in unwounded vegetative tissues of the A9.1 line harbouring the cry 1B gene controlled by the mpi promoter, indicating that natural environmental stresses did not trigger the activity of the wound-inducible promoter. However, the toxin accumulated at 0.2% total soluble proteins in A9.1 sheath tissue exhibiting brown lesions resulting from SSB damage. The agronomical traits and performance of the transgenic lines were generally comparable with parental controls, except in the two lines accumulating Cry 1Aa, which exhibited a high frequency of plants non-true to type. Natural infestation was assisted with manual infestations of L2/L3 SSB larvae in border control plants surrounding the experimental plots, which served as a reservoir for the second-cycle SSB population. The observation of damage (brown lesions and dead hearts) during the crop season and dissection of plants at harvest stage revealed a range of protection amongst the transgenic lines, which was highly consistent with the level of toxin accumulation and with previous experience in greenhouse assays. Lines A3.4 and S05. 1 were found to exhibit stable and full protection against SSB attacks, mediated by the accumulation of Cry 1B and Cry 1Aa toxin, respectively, which was comparable with that afforded by the spraying of chemical insecticides on control plants. The wound-induced A9.1 line exhibited a satisfactory level of protection, with a notably low level of penetration of SSB larvae in the stems, but higher external symptoms than constitutive lines, probably due to the time Jag to benefit from the protective effect of Cry 1B.

Mots-clés : oryza; chilo suppressalis; lutte antiravageur; résistance aux organismes nuisibles; gène; endotoxine; expérimentation au champ; bacillus thuringiensis; génie génétique; espagne

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