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Impacts of transgenic crop technology upon the field slug Deroceras reticulatum (Muller)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Evan Mulligan, Dr Natalie Ferry, Dr Gordon Port, Professor Angharad MR GatehouseORCiD


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The potential for transgenic oilseed rape (OSR) plants expressing the cysteine protease inhibitor oryzacystatin-1 (OC-1) to affect the field slug Deroceras reticulatum was investigated. Characterization of proteolytic digestive enzymes from the slug's digestive gland demonstrated that all age classes of D. reticulatum utilise the OC-1 sensitive cysteine protease, cathepsin-L. Vegetative tissues of transgenic OSR plants were shown to express OC-1 at levels of 0.025-0.1% of total soluble protein. Bio-assays were carried out over a 6 week period to determine the effects of OC-1-expressing OSR on the growth, development and survival of D. reticulatum juveniles; effects on plant damage were also monitored. Despite OC-1 being both a potent inhibitor of digestive proteolysis in vitro and reducing endogenous proteolysis in vivo, slugs in the experimental group performed significantly better in terms of survival and development; furthermore, plant damage was also significantly greater in this group.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Mulligan EA, Ferry N, Port G, Gatehouse AMR, Walters K

Editor(s): Dussart, G.B.J.

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Slugs and Snails: Agricultural, Veterinary and Environmental Perspectives

Year of Conference: 2003

Pages: 121-126

ISSN: 0306-3941

Publisher: British Crop Protection Council

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

Series Title: British Crop Protection Council Symposium Proceedings

ISBN: 9781901396805