HETEROLOGOUS EXPRESSION OF RICE CHITINASE GENE IN GARDEN PEA (PISUM SATIVUM L.) AGAINST POWDERY MILDEW
Sweta Kumari and Dilip Das*
Pisum sativum L. (Garden pea) is an annual crop of immense importance. In India it is cultivated in an area of more than 280.0 thousand hactares with annual production of more than 4.0 million tonnes but its yield decline heavily due to powdery mildew a fungal disease caused by Erysiphae pisi, E. polygoni; E. cichoracearum etc. Severe infection reduces plant growth seed weight, seeds per pod and pod number. Pod infection causes seed discoloration leading to downgrading its quality. Management using fungicides; most commonly triadimefon is in regular practice, but they only protect uninfected foliage and have limited systemic activity. Over time, the fungicides accumulate at the leaf margins, leaving other parts of the leaf more open to infection which also has hazardous effect on the environment. One of the effective methods for controlling fungal infection may be the introduction of rice chitinase into the sensitive but otherwise high yielding crops. Large number of genetic transformation procedures are available using both direct i.e. biolistic or gene gun or particle bombardment or in-direct i.e. Agrobacterium mediated for constitutive expression of introduced chitinase gene. Upon standardization of efficient shoot regeneration and transformation system in pea, transgenic plants may produced against these fungi leading to reduced yield loss in this economically valued crop. The functional validation of chitinase in pea will show way for its effective utilization in future for reducing loss caused due to several fungi.
Keywords: Agrobacterium, Chitinase, Erysiphae, Pisum sativum, Transformation.
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