Generating a Novel Soybean Cultivar with Resistance to Nematode Infection and High Performance in Adverse Conditions by Overexpressing Cysteine Protease Inhibitor 1

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Luu, Thien D.
DeMarsh, Timothy
Gmcpi1 , Cysteine Proteases , Cysteine Protease Inhibitors , Agrobacterium
Unique proteases secreted by pathogenic organisms have been identified to play important roles in these organisms’ pathogenesis. These proteases allow pathogenic organisms to invade host organisms, re-appropriate host nutrients, and evade host immune systems. Among these peptidases, cysteine proteases have been identified as the most important players in the parasitic infection of plants. Cysteine protease inhibitors have been shown to be the most effective compounds produced by plants to help them prevent the infection by pathogenic microorganisms. Overexpression of soybean cysteine inhibitor 1 (GmCPI1) in Arabidopsis significantly enhances its resistance to pest infection. Excessively expressing GmCPI1 has resulted in the increase in the performance of transgenic Arabidopsis under many adverse conditions, such as drought and high salinity. In this project, we are attempting to use develop novel soybean cultivars that overexpress GmCPI1 by using Agrobacterium mediated plant transformation method. Such cultivars will potentially show increase resistance to pest infections and other unfavorable conditions. This research may provide a promising strategy to improve the pest resistance of other economically important plants and food crops, as well as increase their performance under adverse conditions, resulting in increasing crop yields.