The main objectives are:
* Molecular characterisation of the gastrodianin protein from G. elata and related Gastrodia species, known to inhibit the growth of a variety of fungi which attack plants.
* Cloning of the full-length gene encoding gastrodianin and transformation of plants.
* Testing of selected transgenic plants in laboratory and field conditions.
* Genes related to gastrodianin may also be studied in order to obtain additional antifungal genes.
Fungal diseases cause huge losses in agricultural production. By expressing gastrodianin and related proteins in plants, fungal resistant crops should be obtained. First target species will be tobacco and rice, being model plants and at the same time important crops suffering from fungal diseases.
* Highly purified gastrodianin will be obtained, using techniques such as ultrafiltration, FPLC and HPLC, and subsequently used for determining its physicochemical properties, investigations on its biological functions, preparation of specific antibodies and analysis of its primary structure.
* A full-length cDNA clone will be isolated making use of an antibody probe and/or synthesised oligonucleotide probes derived from the aminoacid sequence. This cDNA will be cloned in high-expression constructs and used to pick up the genomic sequence from G. elata including the promoter.
* The resulting constructs will be introduced in tobacco and rice plants.
* The obtained transgenic crops will be challenged with certain pathogenic fungi in the laboratory and then tested in the field for their antifungal properties and other relevant characters.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
118109 Liaoning Province
2300 RA Leiden