2010 Volume 27 Issue 2 Pages 141-145
Dioscorea batatas tuber lectin 1 (DB1) is a storage protein isolated from yam tuber, and is shown to be a mannose-binding lectin. It has 58% amino-acid identity to insecticidal snowdrop bulb lectin GNA. In this study, we demonstrated that ≥1 mg ml−1 DB1 in an artificial diet significantly decreased the survival and fecundity of green peach aphid, Myzus persicaeca. We produced transgenic tobacco plants expressing cDNA of DB1 under the control of Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter (35S-DB1) or phloem-specific promoter of rice sucrose synthase-1 gene (RSs1-DB1), and evaluate the degree of aphid resistance in whole plant bioassays. The number of survival aphids was reduced to 60% in transgenic lines with 35S-DB1 and RSs1-DB1, which accumulated DB1 at a level of 1.8% and 0.25%, respectively, of total soluble protein. Our results indicate that DB1 can be used to enhance resistance to sap-sucking insects in transgenic crops.