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Interspecific transfer of resistance to tobacco caterpillar spodoptera litura from nicotiana benthamiana to nicotiana tabacum

Interspecific transfer of resistance to tobacco caterpillar spodoptera litura from nicotiana benthamiana to nicotiana tabacum

Cytologia 45(1-2): 103-112

In tobacco (N. tabacum L.), there is little scope for intervarietal gene transfer, hence interspecific hybridization utilizing wild species of the genus Nicotiana possessing resistance to 1 or more pests, is the best solution. Although N. benthamiana is resistant to tobacco caterpillar (S. litura F.), in view of its interspecific incompatibility with N. tabacum, a trispecific amphiploid (N. benthamiana .times. N. glutinosa .times. N. tabacum) was synthesized with N. glutinosa as a bridge species. Progressive elimination of N. benthamiana and N. glutinosa chromosomes was achieved through 4 successive backcrosses of the amphiploid with flue-cured N. tabacum varieties, resulting in plants having most of the tabacum characters and caterpillar resistance. All the plants were male-sterile and most of them possessed 48-50 mitotic chromosomes, 48 from N. tabacum and 1-2 from N. benthamiana, thus indicating that the resistance factors are confined to 1 or 2 chromosomes. Based on the mortality of inoculated larvae and the extent of damage, the plants were grouped into highly resistant, moderately resistant and susceptible types. The heavy mortality of the caterpillar within 24 h indicate that certain toxic exudates from the leaf surface may be the primary cause of death. Starvation due to non-preference may be another factor responsible for death of most of the remaining larvae within the next 24-240 h. The retarded growth of a few surviving larvae, their resistant feeding and the slow pace at which they proceed from one instar to another indicate that some antibiosis properties may also be associated with the factors for resistance.

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