Impact of genetic transformation on morphological expression of transgenic cowpea
Two genetically engineered cowpea lines(TCL-709 and TCL-711) were evaluated under field conditions along with the original parental genotype (IT86D-1010) at confined field trial site Samaru Nigeria for expression of morpholgical traits. The present study was designed and conducted in order to understand whether genetic transformation of cowpea with Cry1Ab gene had led to unwanted changes on the morphological features of transgenic cowpea lines, by making comparative assessment between the transgenic lines and untransformed original parental genotype. The result showed that comparison made between transgenic cowpea line TCL-709 and original parental type showed non-significant differences in all the parameters compared. Similarly, comparison made between cowpea transgenic line TCL-711 and IT86D-1010 had significant differences for days to first flowering, days to first pod maturity and plant height while vegetative traits such as number of primary branches, yield attributes like total number of pods per plant at maturity were not significantly different from the original parent. The most important character in a crop-improvement programme is yield, the result indicated that the genotypes (TCL-709, TCL-711 and IT86D-1010) had non-significant differences among themselves regarding total number of pods per plant. It is therefore concluded that the introduction of Cry1Ab gene has not led to harmful changes on the gross morphological characteristics of cowpea plants, besides conferring insect resistance to Maruca pest.
Keywords; Cry1Ab-Transgene, Genetic Transformation, Transgenic-Cowpea