Overexpression of biologically safe Rorippa indica defensin enhances aphid tolerance in Brassica juncea.

PMID 28770337


Transgenic mustard plants ( Brassica juncea ) expressing non-allergenic and biologically safe RiD peptide show higher tolerance against Lipaphis erysimi. Rorippa indica defensin (RiD) has previously been reported as a novel insecticidal protein derived from a wild crucifer Rorippa indica. RiD was found to have an effective insecticidal property against mustard aphid, Lipaphis erysimi. In the present study, RiD was highly upregulated in R. indica during aphid infestation initiating a defense system mediated by jasmonic acid (JA), but not by salicylic acid (SA)/abscisic acid (ABA). RiD has also been assessed for biosafety according to the FAO/WHO guideline (allergenicity of genetically modified foods; Food And Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome, Italy, 2001) and Codex Alimentarius Guideline (Guidelines for the design and implementation of national regulatory food safety assurance programme associated with the use of veterinary drugs in food producing animals. Codex Alimentarius Commission. GL, pp 71-2009, 2009). The purified protein was used to sensitize BALB/c mice and they showed normal histopathology of lung and no elevated IgE level in their sera. As the protein was found to be biologically safe and non-allergenic, it was used to develop transgenic Brassica juncea plants with enhanced aphid tolerance, which is one of the most important oilseed crops and is mostly affected by the devastating pest-L. erysimi. The transgene integration was monitored by Southern hybridization, and the positive B. juncea lines were further analyzed by Western blot, ELISA, immunohistolocalization assays and in planta insect bioassay. Transgenic plants expressing RiD conferred a higher level of tolerance against L. erysimi. All these results demonstrated that RiD is a novel, biologically safe, effective insecticidal agent and B. juncea plants expressing RiD are important components of integrated pest management.

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