Constitutive Expression of Cyclotide kalata B1 Gene in Transgenic Rice Conferring Resistance to Golden Apple Snail (Pomacea canaliculata)


  • Norsharina Md Saad Department of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, UKM, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia; Plant Biotechnology Centre, Agro-Biotechnology Institute, National Institutes of Biotechnology Malaysia, Jalan Bioteknologi, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Chee How Teo Centre for Research in Biotechnology for Agriculture, University of Malaya, Lembah Pantai, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Zuraida Ab Rahman Biotechnology & Nanotechnology Research Centre, MARDI Headquarters, MARDI HQ, Persiaran MARDIUPM, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Zamri Zainal Department of Biosciences and Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, UKM, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia


Cyclotide kalata B1, golden apple snail, rice transformation


The golden apple snail, also known as Siput Gondang Emas in Malaysia, is a serious pest of paddy fields and native aquatic plants throughout Southeast Asia. Agrobacterium-mediated transformation was used to transform a synthetic Oak 1 gene encoding kalata B1 (kB1), which is toxic to golden apple snails, into Malaysian indica rice MR219. The synthetic Oak 1 gene was placed under the control of a strong constitutive Zea mays ubiquitin promoter. Twelve transgenic lines containing the Oak 1 gene were obtained from the regenerated calli selected on hygromycin. Oak 1 gene expression was determined using quantitative reverse transcriptase- PCR (RT-qPCR). The resistance of the transgenic line to snail infestation was evaluated by feeding experiments. One dimensional 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy revealed that the kB1 produced in transgenic rice is in the form of an acyclic peptide. Phenotypic analysis of the transgenic plants revealed that they have fewer leaves and grains than wild-type MR219. In a molluscicidal activity bioassay, feeding juvenile snails with different concentrations of leaf extracts resulted in molluscicidal activity against snails that was comparable to the synthetic molluscicide metaldehyde, thus farmers can overcome the golden apple snail infestation problem by using genetically modified rice containing the kB1-encoding gene. This technology also has the potential to reduce the toxic effects of chemically synthesized molluscicides on the environment and ecosystem.


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How to Cite

Md Saad, N., Teo, C. H., Rahman, Z. A. ., & Zainal, Z. (2023). Constitutive Expression of Cyclotide kalata B1 Gene in Transgenic Rice Conferring Resistance to Golden Apple Snail (Pomacea canaliculata). Malaysian Applied Biology, 52(3), 59–72.



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