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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Overproduction of salicylic acid in plants by bacterial transgenes enhances pathogen resistance.

After a hypersensitive response to invading pathogens, plants show elevated accumulation of salicylic acid (SA), induced expression of plant defense genes, and systemic acquired resistance (SAR) to further infection by a broad range of pathogens. There is compelling evidence that SA plays a crucial role in triggering SAR. We have transformed tobacco with two bacterial genes coding for enzymes that convert chorismate into SA by a two-step process. When the two enzymes were targeted to the chloroplasts, the transgenic (CSA, constitutive SA biosynthesis) plants showed a 500- to 1,000-fold increased accumulation of SA and SA glucoside compared to control plants. Defense genes, particularly those encoding acidic pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins, were constitutively expressed in CSA plants. This expression did not affect the plant phenotype, but the CSA plants showed a resistance to viral and fungal infection resembling SAR in nontransgenic plants.[1]


  1. Overproduction of salicylic acid in plants by bacterial transgenes enhances pathogen resistance. Verberne, M.C., Verpoorte, R., Bol, J.F., Mercado-Blanco, J., Linthorst, H.J. Nat. Biotechnol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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