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Virus-meditated protection of maize from Ustilago maydis.
T. J. SMITH (1). (1) Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Saint Louis, MO, U.S.A.

The corn smut fungus, <i>Ustilago maydis</i>, is a global pathogen responsible for extensive agricultural losses. Control of this disease using traditional breeding has met with limited success because natural resistance to <i>U. maydis</i> is organ-specific and is quantitatively inherited. Here we present a transgenic approach using <i>Totivirus</i> antifungal protein KP4 expressed constitutively in transgenic maize. Transgenic maize plants expressed high levels of extracellular KP4 with no apparent negative impact on plant development and displayed robust resistance to <i>U. maydis</i> challenges to both the stem and ear tissues in the greenhouse. More broadly, these results suggest that ahigh level of organ independent broad-spectrum corn smut resistance might be afforded by transgenic coexpression of KP4 and other <i>Totivirus</i> antifungal proteins KP1 and KP6.<p><p>Keywords:

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