Ectopic expression of WsMBP1 from Withania somnifera in transgenic tobacco shows insecticidal activity against teak defoliator Hyblaea puera (Lepidoptera: Hyblaeidae)


An insecticidal mannose binding lectin gene of Withania somnifera, WsMBP1 was constitutively expressed in tobacco plants. Instar-wise study on the response of Hyblaea puera larvae to the total protein extracted from transgenic tobacco was conducted and survivability percent was 33.33% and 55.55% in the first and the second instars, respectively. Minimum survivability of 22.22% was registered in the third instar. Further, two-fold reduction was observed in mean pre-pupal and pupal weight in the third instar larval populations fed with lectin protein compared to the control populations. The functional confirmation of the insecticidal activity of WsMBP1 established its potential as a novel gene resource for future transformation studies in developing teak genotypes tolerant to its leaf defoliator, H. puera.

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Act :



Analysis of variance




Base pair


Bovine serum albumin


complementary DNA


cycle threshold


Cultivated Variety






H. puera nucleopolyhedrovirus

hpt :



Cubic meter/ hectare


Milligram/ litre






Murashige and Skoog


1-Naphthaleneacetic acid






Polymerase chain reaction


Quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction




transfer DNA






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The authors acknowledge Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, for funding the research work. The funding support as research fellowship was provided to BSG by Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.

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Correspondence to Modhumita Ghosh Dasgupta.

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George, B.S., Silambarasan, S., Senthil, K. et al. Ectopic expression of WsMBP1 from Withania somnifera in transgenic tobacco shows insecticidal activity against teak defoliator Hyblaea puera (Lepidoptera: Hyblaeidae). Biologia (2020).

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  • Instar
  • Insect resistance
  • Lectin
  • Tobacco
  • Teak defoliator