Aims: Sap-sucking insect pests have become the major threats to many crops in recent years; however, only a few biopesticides have been developed for controlling those pests. Here, we developed a novel pest management strategy, which uses endophytes to express anti-pest plant lectins.
Methods and Results: The fungal endophyte of Chaetomium globosum YY-11 with anti-fungal activities was isolated from rape seedlings. Pinellia ternata agglutinin (pta) gene was cloned into YY-11 mediated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The positive transformants, as selected by antibiotic resistance, were evaluated using PCR and Western blot assay. We found that the recombinant endophytes colonized most of the crops, and the resistance of rape inoculated with recombinant endophytic fungi significantly inhibited the growth and reproduction of Myzus persicae.
Conclusions: Our results showed that the recombinant endophytes expressing Pinellia ernata agglutinin (PTA) may endow hosts with resistance against sap-sucking pests.
Significance and Impact of the Study: This research may have important implications for using endophytes to deliver insecticidal plant lectin proteins to control sap-sucking pests for crop protection.