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Keywords:

  • Agrobacterium ;
  • genetic transformation;
  • Helicoverpa armigera ;
  • insect resistance;
  • in planta transformation;
  • pigeon pea

Abstract

Pigeon pea is an important legume. Yield losses due to insect pests are enormous in the cultivation of this crop. Expression of cry proteins has led to increased resistance to pests in several crops. We report in this paper, expression of a chimeric cry1AcF (encoding cry1Ac and cry1F domains) gene in transgenic pigeon pea and its resistance towards Helicoverpa armigera. PCR, Southern hybridization, RT-PCR and Western analysis confirmed stable integration and expression of the cry1AcF gene in pigeon pea transgenics. When screened for efficacy of the transformants for resistance against H. armigera, the transgenics showed not only high mortality of the larva but could also resist the damage caused by the larvae. Analysis for the stable integration, expression and efficacy of the transgenics resulted in the identification of four T3 plants arising from two T1 backgrounds as highly promising. The results demonstrate potentiality of the chimeric cry1AcF gene in developing H. armigera-resistant pigeon pea.