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Transgenic Silkworms Overexpressing Relish and Expressing Drosomycin Confer Enhanced Immunity to Multiple Pathogens

Yashwant, RS and Thomas, DS and Manoharan, C and Roy, G and Kunjupillai, V and Mishra, RK and Nongthomba, U and Gopalapillai, R (2022) Transgenic Silkworms Overexpressing Relish and Expressing Drosomycin Confer Enhanced Immunity to Multiple Pathogens. In: Molecular Biotechnology .

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12033-021-00438-0


The sericulture industry faces substantial economic losses due to severe pathogenic infections caused by fungi, viruses, and bacteria. The development of transgenic silkworms against specific pathogens has been shown to enhance disease resistance against a particular infection. A single gene or its products that can confer protection against multiple pathogens is required. In an attempt to develop silkworms with enhanced immunity against multiple pathogens, we generated transgenic silkworm lines with an overexpressed NF-kB transcription factor, Relish 1, under two different promoters. Separately, a potent anti-fungal gene, Drosomycin, was also expressed in transgenic silkworms. Both Relish 1 and Drosomycin transgenic silkworms had single copy genomic integration, and their mRNA expression levels were highly increased after infection with silkworm pathogens. The overexpression of the Relish 1 in transgenic silkworms resulted in the upregulation of several defense-related genes, Cecropin B, Attacin, and Lebocin, and showed enhanced resistance to Nosema bombycis (microsporidian fungus), Nucleopolyhedrovirus (BmNPV), and bacteria. The Drosomycin expressing transgenic silkworms showed elevated resistance to N. bombycis and bacteria. These findings demonstrate the role of Relish 1 in long-lasting protection against multiple pathogens in silkworms. Further, the successful introduction of a foreign gene, Drosomycin, also led to improved disease resistance in silkworms. © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Molecular Biotechnology
Publisher: Humana Press Inc.
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Humana Press Inc.
Keywords: Bacteria; Losses; Pathogens; Transcription; Viruses, Antifungals; Disease resistance; Economic loss; Fungal genes; Genomic integration; mRNA expression; Overexpressions; Pathogenic infections; Relish; Transgenics, Animals
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics
Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2022 15:38
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2022 15:38
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/71341

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