996 NOVEL APPROACHES TO GENETIC RESISTANCE TO BACTERIAL PATHOGENS IN FLOWER CROPS

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, University of Hawaii, 3190 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI 96822 USA

Bacterial diseases continue to plague ornamental crops, Genetic resistance offers one way to manage disease; combined with use of indexed propagules and sanitation, it can be a powerful control. Classical breeding offers some genetic solutions. Introgression, by genetic engineering, of antibacterial genes derived from the Cecropiamoth is a second breeding approach which appears promising in other horticultural crops. A case study for control of Xanthomonas, species of which severely limit geranium, anthurium, and other ornamental production, is given for anthurium. Transgenic anthurium plants expressing or containing antibacterial genes coding for the antibacterial peptides Attacin, P13 and T4 lysozymes, and the modified cecropins Shiva and SB37 were produced and challenged with bacteria. Juvenile and adult plants showed various degrees of tolerance to bacterial blight. The implications of this approach to bacterial disease control in various ornamental cropping systems will be discussed.

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