School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom
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Accepted 15 December 2002.
Plant disease resistance (R) gene products recognize pathogen avirulence (Avr) gene products and induce defense responses. It is not known if an R gene can function in different plant families, however. The Arabidopsis thaliana R genes RPW8.1 and RPW8.2 confer resistance to the powdery mildew pathogens Erysiphe orontii, E. cichoracearum, and Oidium lycopersici, which also infect plants from other families. We produced transgenic Nicotiana tabacum, N. benthamiana, and Lycopersicon esculentum plants containing RPW8.1 and RPW8.2. Transgenic N. tabacum plants had increased resistance to E. orontii and O. lycopersici, transgenic N. benthamiana plants had increased resistance to E. cichoracearum, but transgenic L. esculentum plants remained susceptible to these pathogens. The defense responses induced in transgenic N. tabacum and N. benthamiana were similar to those mediated by RPW8.1 and RPW8.2 in Arabidopsis. Apparently, RPW8.1 and RPW8.2 could be used to control powdery mildew diseases of plants from other families.
© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society