Phenotypic assessment of Bt Cry2A transgenic tomato resistant to neonate larva of Helicoverpa armigera

Vageeshbabu S Hanur, K Boopal, Vijeth V Arya


Tomato (Solanum lycopersicon) is the most imperative vegetable crop cultivated across the world.  In India, the tomato productivity is stumpy and one of the major limiting factors is the damage caused by tomato fruit borer Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae). At present there is no source of genetic resistance existing in tomato germplasm against this pest. The conventional methods for management of this particular pest are futile. Bt transgenic technology provides a secure and consistent means for management of this pest. With this analysis, the Cry2A Bt transgenic tomato cv. Arka Vikas was developed for resistance to fruit borer through Agrobacterium mediated transformation. The Agrobacterium strain EHA 105 harboring pBINBT CRY2A containing -CaMv35S promoter, OCS terminator, the synthetic CRY2A gene coding region and nptII selectable cassette- was used for transformation. Transformants were obtained through efficient regeneration and transformation protocol developed in our lab. Twenty six putative transgenic plants were developed and four selected lines were selected as explants for T1 generation. Using PCR and qualitative dot ELISA, confirmation of transgene integration and expression was examined. The detached leaf insect bioassays were performed with neonate Helicoverpa armigera larvae. Transgenic plants showed extensive resistance to Helicoverpa armigera. Significant mortality (95 %) of H. armigera was recorded within 24 h of bioassays. In addition detached fruit bioassays were also performed on transformed plants using in vitro reared freshly hatched first instar neonate larva of H. armigera and outcome of this examination on Bt tomato lines are accessed.


Cry2A; Helicoverpa armigera; Agrobacterium; Tomato


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