Fusarium oxysporum and F. arthrosporioides, pathogenic on Orobanche aegyptiaca, were transformed with two genes of the indole-3-acetamide (IAM) pathway leading to indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) to attempt to enhance virulence. Transgenic F. oxysporum lines containing both the tryptophan-2-monooxyngenase (iaaM) and indole-3-acetamide hydrolase (iaaH) genes produced significantly more IAA than the wild type. IAM accumulated in culture extracts of F. oxysporum containing iaaM alone. F. arthrosporioides containing only iaaM accumulated IAM and an unidentified indole. Some transformants of F. oxysporum expressing only the iaaM gene also produced more IAA than the wild type. Sub-threshold levels (that barely infect Orobanche) of transgenic F. oxysporum expressing both genes and of F. arthrosporioides expressing iaaM were more effective in suppressing the number and size of Orobanche shoots than the wild type on tomato plants grown in soil mixed with Orobanche seed. Stimulating an auxin imbalance enhanced pathogen virulence by affecting the host in a manner similar to low doses of auxin herbicides such as 2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid.
- Polymerase chain reaction