Tryptophan decarboxylase, tryptamine, and reproduction of the whitefly

John C. Thomas, Deanna G. Adams, Craig L. Nessler, Judith K. Brown, Hans J. Bohnert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Tryptophan decarboxylase (TDC) from Catharanthus roseus (periwinkle) converts tryptophan to the indole-alkaloid tryptamine. When the TDC gene was expressed in transgenic tobacco, the 55-kD TDC enzyme and tryptamine accumulated. Bemisia tabaci (sweetpotato whitefly) reproduction on transgenic plants decreased up to 97% relative to controls. Production of tryptamine, its derivatives, or other products resulting from TDC activity may discourage whitefly reproduction and provide a single-gene-based plant protection strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-720
Number of pages4
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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