Tryptophan Decarboxylase, Tryptamine, and Reproduction of the Whitefly Academic Article uri icon


  • 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.

author list (cited authors)

  • Thomas, J. C., Adams, D. G., Nessler, C. L., Brown, J. K., & Bohnert, H. J.

citation count

  • 48

publication date

  • October 1995