Colorado potato beetle larvae on potato plants expressing a locust proteinase inhibitor.Commun Agric Appl Biol Sci. 2004; 69(3):281-7.CA
The natural defence system of plants often involves inhibitors of digestive enzymes of their pests. Modem and environmental-friendly methods try to increase this plant resistance by expressing heterologous protease inhibitors in crops. Here we report the effects of expressing a gene from desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) encoding two serine protease inhibitors in potato on Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) larvae. The gene encoding both peptides on a single chain was used for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of potato plants. The presence of the active inhibitor protein in the leaves was verified. The feeding bioassays in the laboratory showed that despite the low level of the peptide in leaves, CPB larvae on transgenic plants have grown slightly but significantly more slowly than those on control potato plants. The results support the notion that expression of multifunctional proteinase inhibitors of insect origin in plants might be a good strategy to improve insect resistance.