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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Punya Nachappa


Department of Biology

University Affiliation

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne


The soybean aphid continues to be an important pest in the major soybean growing regions around the country. The current consensus management recommendations that have been developed over more than a decade of research include cultural, genetic, economic and chemical controls. Although, these strategies reduce the threat they do not completely eliminate soybean aphid as a pest. As a complement to current management practices, we propose utilizing a biotechnological approach to enhance plant immunity. The genetic manipulation of components of the plants own defense signaling pathways offers an attractive strategy for boosting plant defenses. Regulatory genes that control the expression of multiple defenses are excellent targets for developing broad‐spectrum of pathogens. This approach has several important advantages including a minimal impact on crop yield and economically important plant, reduced impact of the environment and on natural enemies of the aphid due to reduced insecticide sprays. A defense regulatory gene PHYTOALEXIN DEFICINT4 (PAD4), is an excellent candidate for over‐expression soybean plants due to its important role in plant defenses against a broad‐spectrum of pathogens. We therefore, propose to develop transgenic soybean plants that over‐express the PAD4 gene. We expect that PAD4 will provide a measure of resistance not only against the soybean aphid but also against other important soybean pests.


Biology | Life Sciences

Engineering Host Defenses For Enhancing Resistance to Soybean Aphid

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