Agronomy and Horticulture, Department of


First Advisor

Amitava Mitra

Date of this Version

Summer 8-5-2019

Document Type



Biliarski, G. S and Mitra, A (2019) Expression of Multi-domain Peptide Genes in Transgenic Plants for Disease Resistance, M.S. Thesis, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Agronomy, Under the Supervision of Professor Amitava Mitra. Lincoln, Nebraska: July 2019

Copyright © 2019 George S. Biliarski


Four non-plant multi-domain lytic peptide genes coding for antimicrobial peptides were expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana plants and tested against three fungal pathogens: Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Rhizoctonia solani, and Pythium sp. Detached-leaf bioassay was performed for the transgenic plants carrying multi-domain lytic peptide constructs and compared with transgenic and wild type control plants. Symptom area of each leaf was measured with high precision using the Compu-Eye software and processed by SAS statistical package. The transgenic lines ORF13 and RSL1 showed substantial resistance to Sclerotinia sclerotiorum infection producing significantly smaller lesion areas compared to control plants. However, these lines were not effective against two other fungal pathogens Rhizoctonia solani and Pythium sp.

Advisor: Amitava Mitra