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nucleic acid molecule encoding a chimeric protein

DampESTECHOligoga - lacturonidesPlant defence responsesPlant resistence

Introduction

Improvement of plant resistance by exploiting innate defence mechanisms. In this case, the defences in the plant are activated by exploiting the in vivo controlled accumulation of pectin fragments (oligogalacturonides). It is a sort of protein “machine” which, when activated in plants, can protect plants, in a completely natural way, from microbial infections.

Technical features

The present invention relates to a nucleic acid molecule capable of expressing, in at least one plant tissue, a chimeric protein comprising a polygalacturonase (PG) of fungal, bacterial or insect origin and a protein inhibitor of the polygalacturonase (PGIP) of vegetable origin able to inhibit said PG. The chimeric protein allows the accumulation of oligogalacturonides in plant tissues and consequently activates the defence responses of the plant. Plants expressing this fusion protein, under the control of a pathogen-inducible promoter, have an increased resistance to both fungal and bacterial pathogenic microorganisms. This invention makes it possible not to use pesticides when counteracting infectious plant diseases; a natural method with benefits both to human health and the environment.

Possible Applications

  • Agriculture, particularly where the cultivation of transgenic plants is currently permitted by legislation;
  • Plant Disease Research,

Advantages

  • Transgenic plants generated with the chimeric construct more resistant to pathogens;
  • Effective reaction to the attack of pathogens.