Gene from a Mycoparasitic Fungus Confers Enhanced Resistance to Sclerotinia Stem Rot in Soybean
Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, pathogenic fungus causing Sclerotinia stem rot, is
responsible for massive yield losses in soybean. Thus, scientists from Jilin
Academy of Agricultural Sciences tested if CmCH1 gene from the mycoparasitic
fungus Coniothyrium minitans, which infects a range of ascomycetous
sclerotia, including S. sclerotiorum and S. minor, could improve the
resistance of soybean to Sclerotinia stem rot.
Results showed that the transgenic soybean with CmCH1 showed higher
resistance to S. sclerotiorum infection, with significantly reduced lesion
sizes in both detached stem and leaf assays, compared to the non-transgenic
counterpart. Increased hydrogen peroxide content and activities of
defense-responsive enzymes were also observed at the infection sites in the
transgenic plants inoculated with S. sclerotiorum. Aside from these
observations, the transgenic plants had no detrimental effects on the growth
and development of soybean plants.