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Can We Explain RNA-Mediated Virus Resistance by Homology-Dependent Gene Silencing?

July 1998 , Volume 11 , Number  7
Pages  717 - 723

Tom van den Boogaart , George P. Lomonossoff , and Jeffrey W. Davies

John Innes Centre, Department of Virus Research, Norwich NR4 7UH, U.K.

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The use of viral sequences to produce virus-resistant plants is now almost a standard technique. A variety of sequences from a large number of viruses have been used but the mechanisms remain largely unknown. There are probably at least two distinct types of mechanisms operating: one requiring the expression of the viral protein(s) and the other dependent only on the presence of transgene-derived RNA. In this review, we will discuss this RNA-mediated resistance and its similarities with cosuppression, a recently described phenomenon leading to suppression of transgene expression and homologous sequences. We present a critical view of the current models available to explain this type of resistance.

© 1998 The American Phytopathological Society