Turkish Journal of Biology




Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is one of the important oilseed crops of the Indian subcontinent and fungal diseases like early leaf spot (ELS) and late leaf spot (LLS) caused by Cercospora arachidicola and Phaeoisariopsis personata, respectively, are major peanut cultivation constraints. Defensins are basically antimicrobial peptides that have been implicated in plant defense against various microbial attacks. Transgenic peanut plants, developed through Agrobacterium mediated transformation of de-embryonated cotyledons and overexpressing a synthetic defensin fusion gene from fenugreek (Tfgd2) and radish (RsAFP2) linked by a linker peptide, were found to have enhanced resistance to the ELS and LLS infection over the wild type (cv. GG 20). Both transformed and untransformed lines were characterized for leaf spot diseases using a detached leaf assay. PCR and RT-PCR analyses confirmed stable integration and expression of these genes in peanut transgenics. This investigation provides further evidence that a fusion product of two plant defensins can be successfully implemented as a means of imparting resistance to multiple fungal pathogens through genetic engineering in peanut.


Antimicrobial peptides, Arachis hypogaea, biotic-stress resistance, genetic engineering, synthetic fusion-gene

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