A study published in Transgenic Research reported that transgenic soybean plants expressing chitinase gene CmCH1 from Coniothyrium minitans, showed higher resistance to Sclerotinia stem rot.

Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, pathogenic fungus causing Sclerotinia stem rot, is responsible for massive yield losses in soybean. Thus, scientists from Jilin Academy of Agricultural Sciences tested if CmCH1 gene from the mycoparasitic fungus Coniothyrium minitans, which infects a range of ascomycetous sclerotia, including S. sclerotiorum and S. minor, could improve the resistance of soybean to Sclerotinia stem rot. 

Results showed that the transgenic soybean with CmCH1 showed higher resistance to S. sclerotiorum infection, with significantly reduced lesion sizes in both detached stem and leaf assays, compared to the non-transgenic counterpart. Increased hydrogen peroxide content and activities of defense-responsive enzymes were also observed at the infection sites in the transgenic plants inoculated with S. sclerotiorum. Aside from these observations, the transgenic plants had no detrimental effects on the growth and development of soybean plants.

 

Read more findings in Transgenic Research.