Fungal diseases of peanut are responsible for increased production costs and yield losses of up to 50% for peanut producers in the U.S. Few cultivars with disease resistance have been developed through traditional breeding practices. There is an urgent need for developing cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) cultivars that are resistant to the broad spectrum of fungal pathogens that pose a recurring threat to peanut health. Hydrolases such as chitinase and β-1-3-glucanase are known to degrade the cell walls of many fungi that attack plants, making them likely candidates for over-expression through genetic engineering to produce disease-resistant crops. Somatic embryos of the peanut cultivar Okrun were transformed with a chitinase gene from rice, and/or a β-1-3-glucanase from alfalfa via microprojectile bombardment. Regenerated Okrun lines were tested for the presence of the transgenes by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Southern blot and for transgene expression by colorimetric assays. Transgenic lines exhibited hydrolase activities 0-37% above levels observed in nontransformed Okrun plants.
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Keywords: Arachis hypogaea, chitinase, glucanase, transformation, hydrolase
How to Cite:
Chenault, K. & Burns, J. & Melouk, H. & Payton, M., (2002) “Hydrolase Activity in Transgenic Peanut”, Peanut Science 29(2), p.89-95. doi: https://doi.org/10.3146/pnut.29.2.0003