Regulation of plant immunity through modulation of phytoalexin synthesis

Olga V. Zernova, Anatoli V. Lygin, Michelle L. Pawlowski, Curtis B. Hill, Glen L. Hartman, Jack M. Widholm, Vera V. Lozovaya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Soybean hairy roots transformed with the resveratrol synthase and resveratrol oxymethyl transferase genes driven by constitutive Arabidopsis actin and CsVMV promoters were characterized. Transformed hairy roots accumulated glycoside conjugates of the stilbenic compound resveratrol and the related compound pterostilbene, which are normally not synthesized by soybean plants. Expression of the non-native stilbenic phytoalexin synthesis in soybean hairy roots increased their resistance to the soybean pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. The expression of the AhRS3 gene resulted in 20% to 50% decreased root necrosis compared to that of untransformed hairy roots. The expression of two genes, the AhRS3 and ROMT, required for pterostilbene synthesis in soybean, resulted in significantly lower root necrosis (ranging from 0% to 7%) in transgenic roots than in untransformed hairy roots that had about 84% necrosis. Overexpression of the soybean prenyltransferase (dimethylallyltransferase) G4DT gene in soybean hairy roots increased accumulation of the native phytoalexin glyceollin resulting in decreased root necrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7480-7496
Number of pages17
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Glyceollins
  • Hairy roots
  • Phytoalexins
  • Pterostilbene
  • Resveratrol
  • Soybean
  • Transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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