Transgenic plants resistant to Erwinia amylovora
In United States, research is done on transgenic apple plants resistant to fireblight (Erwinia amylovora - EPPO A2 quarantine pest). Although, no fireblight resistance genes have been cloned from apple, the authors were able to use genes coding for small lytic proteins (in this case Attacin E) which inhibit pathogenic bacteria. By using Agrobacterium tumefaciens, the Attacin E gene has been successfully transferred into the M. 26 rootstock. Laboratory trials have shown that transgenic plants were more resistant to fireblight than the normal M. 26. In May 1993, a field trial has been authorized for testing resistance and pomological characteristics, and the author felt that the preliminary results are very encouraging. Studies are also carried out on the transformation of apple fruit varieties (e.g. Gala) for their resistance to fireblight, and also for important fungi.
Aldwinckle, H. (1994) Genetic engineering for disease resistance in apple.
Paper presented at the 9th Congress of the Mediterranean Phytopathological Union.