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Overexpression of a Brassica nigra cDNA Gives Enhanced Resistance to Leptosphaeria maculans in B. napus

June 2003 , Volume 16 , Number  6
Pages  477 - 484

Sofia Wretblad , Svante Bohman , and Christina Dixelius

1Department of Plant Biology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7080, S-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden

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Accepted 17 January 2003.

Using a polymerase chain reaction-based strategy, we have isolated a cDNA sequence from Brassica nigra, denoted Lm1, which significantly improves blackleg resistance when expressed in transgenic oilseed rape, B. napus. Lm1 was shown to map to locations on linkage groups 3 and 8 in the Brassica B-genome previously linked to both cotyledon, adult leaf, and stem resistance. B. napus plants transformed with Lm1 under the control of a constitutive promoter exhibited broad spectrum resistance to all L. maculans isolates tested, but enhanced resistance to Alternaria brassicae and Verticillium longisporum was not observed. A transcript corresponding to the cDNA size was induced in B. nigra 12 h after fungal challenge from a level of weak constitutive expression previous to inoculation. The Lm1 sequence bears no resemblance to previously characterized plant resistance genes but has two predicted transmembrane motifs. Several sequences with high homology to Lm1 were found in the databases. Lm1 appears to be a member of a larger group of related genes present in a variety of plant species. Most of them have unknown functions, but homology between Lm1 and the nodule inception gene of Lotus japonicus suggests an intriguing link between defense-related and symbiotic pathways.

Additional keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana, stem canker.

© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society