Virus-induced gene silencing in plants.

The Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre, Colney Lane, Norwich NR4 7UH, UK.
Methods (Impact Factor: 3.64). 09/2003; 30(4):296-303. DOI: 10.1016/S1046-2023(03)00037-9
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is a technology that exploits an RNA-mediated antiviral defense mechanism. In plants infected with unmodified viruses the mechanism is specifically targeted against the viral genome. However, with virus vectors carrying inserts derived from host genes the process can be additionally targeted against the corresponding mRNAs. VIGS has been used widely in plants for analysis of gene function and has been adapted for high-throughput functional genomics. Until now most applications of VIGS have been in Nicotiana benthamiana. However, new vector systems and methods are being developed that could be used in other plants, including Arabidopsis. Here we discuss practical and theoretical issues that are specific to VIGS rather than other gene "knock down" or "knockout" approaches to gene function. We also describe currently used protocols that have allowed us to apply VIGS to the identification of genes required for disease resistance in plants. These methods and the underlying general principles also apply when VIGS is used in the analysis of other aspects of plant biology.

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    ABSTRACT: We developed a reassortant RNA virus vector derived from (CMV), which has advantages of very wide host range and can efficiently induce gene silencing in a few model plants. Certain CMV isolates, however, show limited host ranges presumably because they naturally co-evolved with their own hosts. We used a reassortant comprised of two strains of CMV, Y-CMV and Gn-CMV, to broaden the host range and to develop a virus vector for virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS). Gn-CMV could infect chili pepper and tomato more efficiently than Y-CMV. Gn-CMV RNA1, 3 and Y-CMV RNA2-A1 vector were newly reconstructed, and the transcript mixture of RNA1 and 3 genomes of Gn-CMV and RNA2 genome of Y-CMV RNA2 containing portions of the endogenous phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene (CMV2A1::PDSs) was inoculated onto chili pepper (cv. Chung-yang), tomato (cvs. Bloody butcher, Tigerella, Silvery fir tree, and Czech bush) and . All the tested plants infected by the reassortant CMV vector showed typical photo-bleaching phenotypes and reduced expression levels of mRNA. These results suggest that the reassortant CMV vector would be a useful tool for the rapid induction of the RNA silencing of endogenous genes in chili pepper and tomato plants.
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    ABSTRACT: Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is a recently developed gene transcript suppression technique for characterizing the function of plant genes. However, efficient VIGS has only been studied in a few plant species. In order to extend the application of VIGS, we examined whether a VIGS vector based on TRV would produce recognizable phenotypes in soybean. Here, we report that VIGS using the Tobacco rattle virus (TRV) viral vector can be used in several soybean cultivars employing various agro-inoculation methods including leaf infiltration, spray inoculation, and agrodrench. cDNA fragments of the soybean phytoene desaturase(PDS) was inserted into TRV RNA-2 vector. By agrodrench, we successfully silenced the expression of PDS encoding gene in soybean. The silenced phenotype of PDS was invariably obvious 3 weeks after inoculation with the TRV-based vector. Real-time RT-PCR analyses showed that the endogenous level of GmPDS transcripts was dramatically reduced in the silenced leaf tissues. These observations confirm that the silenced phenotype is closely correlated with the pattern of tissue expression. The TRV-based VIGS using agrodrench can be applied to functional genomics in a soybean plants to study genes involved in a wide range of biological processes. To our knowledge, this is the first high frequency VIGS method in soybean plants.
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    ABSTRACT: Lycopene ε-cyclase (ε-LCY) is a key enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of α-branch carotenoids through the cyclization of lycopene. Two cDNA molecules encoding ε-LCY (designated Ntε-LCY1 and Ntε-LCY2) were cloned from Nicotiana tabacum. Ntε-LCY1 and Ntε-LCY2 are encoded by two distinct genes with different evolutionary origins, one originating from the tobacco progenitor, Nicotiana sylvestris, and the other originating from Nicotiana tomentosiformis. The two coding regions are 97% identical at the nucleotide level and 95% identical at the amino acid level. Transcripts of Ntε-LCY were detectable in both vegetative and reproductive organs, with a relatively higher level of expression in leaves than in other tissues. Subcellular localization experiments using an Ntε-LCY1-GFP fusion protein demonstrated that mature Ntε-LCY1 protein is localized within the chloroplast in Bright Yellow 2 suspension cells. Under low-temperature and low-irradiation stress, Ntε-LCY transcript levels substantially increased relative to control plants. Tobacco rattle virus (TRV)-mediated silencing of ε-LCY in Nicotiana benthamiana resulted in an increase of β-branch carotenoids and a reduction in the levels of α-branch carotenoids. Meanwhile, transcripts of related genes in the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway observably increased, with the exception of β-OHase in the TRV-ε-lcy line. Suppression of ε-LCY expression was also found to alleviate photoinhibition of Potosystem II in virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) plants under low-temperature and low-irradiation stress. Our results provide insight into the regulatory role of ε-LCY in plant carotenoid biosynthesis and suggest a role for ε-LCY in positively modulating low temperature stress responses.
    International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2014; 15(8):14766-14785. · 2.46 Impact Factor

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