Transgenic potato plants resistant to the phytopathogenic bacterium Erwinia carotovora


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The phytopathogenic bacterium Erwina carotovora spp. which infects potato plants causes severe losses in agriculture. No protective means or resistance traits usable for plant breeding are known. Introduction of a new resistance gene into potato by gene technology leads to a reduced susceptibility of the transgenic plants towards Erwinia carotovora atroseptica infection. Bacteriophage T4 lysozyme is the most active member of a class of bacteriolytic enzymes also detected in several plant species. Secretion of the foreign T4 lysozyme into the intercellular spaces of transgenic potato plants effects a resistance against the phytopathogenic bacterium already at low expression levels.