As a first step towards development of insect resistant rice we have introduced a truncated δ-endotoxin gene, cryIA(b) of Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) which has specific biological activity against lepidopteran insects into a japonica rice. To highly express the cryIA(b) gene in rice the coding sequence was extensively modified based on the codon usage of rice genes. Transgenic plants efficiently expressed the modified cryIA(b) gene at both mRNA and protein levels. Bioassays using R2 generation plants with two major rice insect pests, striped stemborer (Chilo suppressalis) and leaffolder (Cnaphalocrosis medinalis), indicated that transgenic rice plants expressing the CryIA(b) protein are more resistant to these pests than untransformed control plants. Our results suggest that the B.t. endotoxin genes will be useful for the rational development of new rice varieties resistant to major insect pests.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Molecular Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering