The cDNA encoding the antifungal protein KP4 from Ustilago maydis-infecting virus was inserted behind the ubiquitin promoter of maize and genetically transferred to wheat varieties particularly susceptible to stinking smut (Tilletia tritici) disease. The transgene was integrated and inherited over several generations. Of seven transgenic lines, three showed antifungal activity against U. maydis. The antifungal activity correlated with the presence of the KP4 transgene. KP4-transgenic, soil-grown wheat plants exhibit increased endogenous resistance against stinking smut.
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