African Journal of Biotechnology

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Engineering Sclerotinia Sclerotiorum Resistance in Oilseed Crops

Guihua Lu


The fungal pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary is worldwide in distribution and pathogenic to more than 400 plant species. This disease causes significant yield losses of various important crops including sunflower, canola, and soybean. Applying fungicides and crop rotation are currently the major methods of controlling this disease. However, fungicide chemicals are expensive, not all environmentally safe, and not always effective. Few genetic sources of resistance to the pathogen are available to breeders. Therefore, farmers have a continuing demand for new approaches to control the disease. Biotechnology opens a new avenue to control this pathogen. Several strategies, including detoxification, defense activation, and fungal inhibition, have potential to engineer Sclerotinia resistance. This review summarizes the progress of transgenic Sclerotinia resistance in oilseed crops including sunflower, canola, and soybean.

Key words: detoxification, disease resistance, fungal inhibition, hydrogen peroxide, oxalate oxidase, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, white mold.

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 2 (12), pp. 509-516, December 2003
AJOL African Journals Online