Dry grain legume seeds possessing αAI-1, an α-amylase inhibitor from common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), under the control of a cotyledon-specific promoter have been shown to be highly resistant to several important bruchid pest species. One transgenic chickpea and four cowpea lines expressing αAI-1, their respective controls, as well as nine conventional chickpea cultivars were assessed for their resistance to the bruchids Acanthoscelides obtectus (Say), Callosobruchus chinensis L. and Callosobruchus maculatus F. All transgenic lines were highly resistant to both Callosobruchus species. A. obtectus, known to be tolerant to αAI-1, was able to develop in all transgenic lines. While the cotyledons of all non-transgenic cultivars were highly susceptible to all bruchids, C. chinensis and C. maculatus larvae suffered from significantly increased mortality rates inside transgenic seeds. The main factor responsible for the partial resistance in the non-transgenic cultivars was deduced to reside in the seed coat. The αAI-1 present in seeds of transgenic chickpea and cowpea lines significantly increases their resistance to two important bruchid pest species (C. chinensis and C. maculatus) essentially to immunity. To control αAI-1 tolerant bruchid species such as A. obtectus and to avoid the development of resistance to αAI-1, varieties carrying this transgene should be protected with additional control measures.
Lüthi, C.; Álvarez-Alfageme, F.; Ehlers, J.D.; Higgins, T.J.V.; Romeis, J. Resistance of &#945;AI-1 transgenic chickpea (Cicer arietinum) and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) dry grains to bruchid beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research (2013) : [DOI: 10.1017/S0007485312000818]