A sugarcane mosaic virus vector for rapid in planta screening of proteins that inhibit the growth of insect herbivores

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Chung, Seung Ho
Bigham, Mahdiyeh
Lappe, Ryan
Chan, Barry
Nagalakshmi, Ugrappa
Whitham, Steven
Dinesh-Kumar, Savithramma
Jander, Georg
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Whitham, Steven
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Plant Pathology and Microbiology
The Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology and the Department of Entomology officially merged as of September 1, 2022. The new department is known as the Department of Plant Pathology, Entomology, and Microbiology (PPEM). The overall mission of the Department is to benefit society through research, teaching, and extension activities that improve pest management and prevent disease. Collectively, the Department consists of about 100 faculty, staff, and students who are engaged in research, teaching, and extension activities that are central to the mission of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The Department possesses state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities in the Advanced Research and Teaching Building and in Science II. In addition, research and extension activities are performed off-campus at the Field Extension Education Laboratory, the Horticulture Station, the Agriculture Engineering/Agronomy Farm, and several Research and Demonstration Farms located around the state. Furthermore, the Department houses the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, the Iowa Soybean Research Center, the Insect Zoo, and BugGuide. Several USDA-ARS scientists are also affiliated with the Department.
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Plant Pathology and Microbiology

Spodoptera frugiperda (fall armyworm) is a notorious pest that threatens maize production worldwide. Current control measures involve the use of chemical insecticides and transgenic maize expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins. Although additional transgenes have confirmed insecticidal activity, limited research has been conducted in maize, at least partially due to the technical difficulty of maize transformation. Here, we describe implementation of a sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) vector for rapidly testing the efficacy of both endogenous maize genes and heterologous genes from other organisms for the control of S. frugiperda in maize. Four categories of proteins were tested using the SCMV vector: (i) maize defence signalling proteins: peptide elicitors (Pep1 and Pep3) and jasmonate acid conjugating enzymes (JAR1a and JAR1b); (ii) maize defensive proteins: the previously identified ribosome‐inactivating protein (RIP2) and maize proteinase inhibitor (MPI), and two proteins with predicted but unconfirmed anti‐insect activities, an antimicrobial peptide (AMP) and a lectin (JAC1); (iii) lectins from other plant species: Allium cepa agglutinin (ACA) and Galanthus nivalis agglutinin (GNA); and (iv) scorpion and spider toxins: peptides from Urodacus yaschenkoi (UyCT3 and UyCT5) and Hadronyche versuta (Hvt). In most cases, S. frugiperda larval growth was reduced by transient SCMV‐mediated overexpression of genes encoding these proteins. Additionally, experiments with a subset of the SCMV‐expressed genes showed effectiveness against two aphid species, Rhopalosiphum maidis (corn leaf aphid) and Myzus persicae (green peach aphid). Together, these results demonstrate that SCMV vectors are a rapid screening method for testing the efficacy and insecticidal activity of candidate genes in maize.


This article is published as Chung, Seung Ho, Mahdiyeh Bigham, Ryan R. Lappe, Barry Chan, Ugrappa Nagalakshmi, Steven A. Whitham, Savithramma P. Dinesh‐Kumar, and Georg Jander. "A sugarcane mosaic virus vector for rapid in planta screening of proteins that inhibit the growth of insect herbivores." Plant Biotechnology Journal (2021). doi:10.1111/pbi.13585.

Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2021