The possibility of controlling Fusarium wilt--caused by Fusarium oxysporum sp. cubensec (race 4)--was investigated by genetic engineering of banana plants for constitutive expression of rice thaumatin-like protein (tlp) gene. Transgene was introduced to cauliflower-like bodies' cluster, induced from meristemic parts of male inflorescences, using particle bombardment with plasmid carrying a rice tlp gene driving by the CaMV 35S promoter. Hygromycin B was used as the selection reagent. The presence and integration of rice tlp gene in genomic DNA confirmed by PCR and Southern blot analyses. RT-PCR revealed the expression of transgene in leaf and root tissues in transformants. Bioassay of transgenic banana plants challenged with Fusarium wilt pathogen showed that expression of TLP enhanced resistance to F. oxysporum sp. cubensec (race 4) compared to control plants.
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