Genetic transformation of citrus with bacterio-opsin (bo), cecropin and gus genes. / Transformação genética de citros com os genes bacteriopsina (bO), cecropina e gus.




Application of modern biotechnology techniques, as genetic transformation, has helped breeding programs of perennial plant species. This technique is already successfully used in citrus in several countries, mostly to the production of more disease-tolerant plants. Present work had three objectives as it follows: 1. genetic transformation of Rangpur lime rootstock with the bacterio-opsin(bO) gene, related to the activation of plant defense mechanisms such as programmed cell death and salicylic acid production, towards the increase of the tolerance to Phytophthora gummosis; 2. genetic transformation of main sweet orange scion varieties (Hamlin, Valência, Natal and Pêra) with cecropin gene. This gene products present antibacterial activity, becoming a possible source for citrus canker and variegated chlorosis tolerance and. 3. to test the viability of the use of a xylem-specific promoter (phenylalanine ammonia lyase) in citrus. Transformations were performed by direct system via Agrobacterium tumefaciens, using juvenile citrus epicotyl segments, which showed to be feasible in citrus, once transgenic plants were obtained for all proposed genes. Molecular tests were conduced and confirmed the insertion of the genes described above. In the case of Rangpur lime two plants were regenerated; in the transformation of canopy varieties with cecropin gene, different efficiency rates were observed, and the best results were obtained for Valencia sweet orange (3.3-4.5 %) and Hamlin sweet orange (2.5-3.0 %), compared to Natal sweet orange (1.6-2.0 %) and Pêra sweet orange (0.5 %). Plants of Valência variety were also transformed with the phenylalanine ammonia lyase promoter, resulting in 15 diverse transformation events. Beyond transformations, two bioessays were installed: one with Rangpur lime plants, aiming to evaluate tolerance to gummosis caused by Phytophthora, and another with Valência sweet orange transformed with cecropin gene. In the first case Rangpur lime transgenic plants were propagated through grafting and, after six months, were inoculated with Phytophtora, by introducing a contaminated needle containing the pathogen propagules, at 10 cm above the grafting region; 25 days later the experiment evaluation was conduced, consisting on measuring the lenght and area of lesions, as well as on the observation of gum. Comparing the performance of Rangpur lime transgenic lines with that of a non-transformed Rangpur lime, one plant presented higher tolerance to gummosis. Although, for the cecropin-gene plants, it was conduced an essay with destached leaves, where these were punched by a needle and then sprayed with a bacterial suspension of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri; they were kept in centrifuge tubes (50 mL), where petioles mantained contact with sterile water (2 mL). After 15 days, the necessary period to the first lesions appearance and their size were evaluated. One transgenic plant showed a higher tolerance in comparison to control. In plants transformed with phenylalanine ammonia lyase promoter, tests to observe gus gene expression were performed and comproved its ability to promote and direct gene activity to conductive vessels. This work results are the first in citrus using bO and cecropin genes, and PAL promoter.


gomose transformação genética agrobacterium agrobacterium gummosis citrus canker citrus chlorosis variegated resistência genética vegetal cancro cítrico clorose variegada dos citros plant genetic resistance genetic transformation

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