Enhancement of tomato resistance to Tuta absoluta using a new efficient mesoporous silica nanoparticle-mediated plant transient gene expression approach.
Due to their biodegradability and biocompatibility, mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are employed as DNA nanocarriers in the following novel transient gene expression approach in tomato. The synthesized MSNs were analyzed in size, shape and charge, using FE-SEM, TEM, and Zetasizer, respectively. The tomato plants were then transformed with the MSNs containing pPZP122:35S:GUS (pDNA-MSNs) via three innovative methods including spray and injection the solution into the abaxial surface of leaves and injection into the shoot. The RT-PCR expression of GUS in combination with the histochemical GUS assay results show that pDNA-MSNs entered the cells and undergo the processes of transcription and translation. Subsequently, to investigate the efficiency of the newly developed methods, cryIAb gene through pPZP122:35S:cryIAb-MSNs was transferred into the tomatoes to control Tuta absoluta. The related molecular and bioassay analysis confirmed the transcription and translation of cryIAb in association with an enhanced resistance against Tuta in the tomatoes. Accordingly, for the first time, MSN-mediated gene transient transformation was successfully performed under in vivo condition, and the pDNA-MSN injection into the lower surface of leaves was recognized as the best approach. Since this system is biocompatible and saves time and energy consumption; it could be utilized as a new and more efficient technique in crop genetic engineering.