Response to water deficit and high temperature of transgenic peas (Pisum sativum L.) containing a seed-specific α-amylase inhibitor and the subsequent effects on pea weevil (Bruchus pisorum L.) survival

Maria José De Sousa-Majer, Neil C. Turner, Darryl C. Hardie, Roger L. Morton, Byron Lamont, Thomas J V Higgins

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25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effects of water deficit and high temperature on the production of α-amylase inhibitor 1 (α-Al-1) were studied in transgenic peas (Pisum sativum L.) that were developed to control the seed-feeding pea weevil (Bruchus pisorum L., Coleoptera: Bruchidae). Transgenic and non-transgenic plants were subjected to water-deficit and high-temperature treatments under controlled conditions in the glasshouse and growth cabinet, beginning 1 week after the first pods were formed. In the water-deficit treatments, the peas were either adequately watered (control) or water was withheld after first pod formation. The high-temperature experiments were performed in two growth cabinets, one maintained at 27/22°C (control) and one at 32/27°C day/night temperatures, with the vapour pressure deficit maintained at 1.3 kPa. The plants exposure to high temperatures and water deficit produced 27% and 79% fewer seeds, respectively, than the controls. In the transgenic peas the level of α-Al-1 as a percentage of total protein was not influenced by water stress, but was reduced on average by 36.3% (the range in two experiments was 11-50%) in the high-temperature treatment. Transgenic and non-transgenic pods of plants grown at 27/22°C and 32/ 27°C were inoculated with pea weevil eggs to evaluate whether the reduction in level of α-Al-1 in the transgenic pea seeds affected pea weevil development and survival. At the higher temperatures, 39% of adult pea weevil emerged, compared to 1.2% in the transgenic peas grown at the lower temperatures, Indicating that high temperature reduced the protective capacity of the transgenic peas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-505
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Volume55
Issue number396
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes

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