Fungal diseases of crop plants cause huge damage and reduce crop productivity significantly. The management of these diseases, using synthetic chemical fungicides poses considerable ecological damage and health hazards to livestock. An endochitinase gene from fungus Trichoderma virens has been cloned and a gene construct for expressing this gene in plants is prepared. This construct, when introduced in plants like tobacco and tomato, significantly improved tolerance of these plants to test pathogens. This gene construct can be introduced to commercial cultivars for obtaining disease tolerant crop plants.
Note: Figure showing tomato leaf not treated with chitinase gene construct (NT) and treated with chitinase gene construct (T) exposed to test pathogens.