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Characterization of a Brome mosaic virus Strain and Its Use as a Vector for Gene Silencing in Monocotyledonous Hosts

November 2006 , Volume 19 , Number  11
Pages  1,229 - 1,239

Xin Shun Ding , William L. Schneider , Srinivasa Rao Chaluvadi , M. A. Rouf Mian , and Richard S. Nelson

Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc., 2510 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, OK, 73401, U.S.A.

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Accepted 19 June 2006.

Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is used to analyze gene function in dicotyledonous plants but less so in monocotyledonous plants (particularly rice and corn), partially due to the limited number of virus expression vectors available. Here, we report the cloning and modification for VIGS of a virus from Festuca arundinacea Schreb. (tall fescue) that caused systemic mosaic symptoms on barley, rice, and a specific cultivar of maize (Va35) under greenhouse conditions. Through sequencing, the virus was determined to be a strain of Brome mosaic virus (BMV). The virus was named F-BMV (F for Festuca), and genetic determinants that controlled the systemic infection of rice were mapped to RNAs 1 and 2 of the tripartite genome. cDNA from RNA 3 of the Russian strain of BMV (R-BMV) was modified to accept inserts from foreign genes. Coinoculation of RNAs 1 and 2 from F-BMV and RNA 3 from R-BMV expressing a portion of a plant gene to leaves of barley, rice, and maize plants resulted in visual silencing-like phenotypes. The visual phenotypes were correlated with decreased target host transcript levels in the corresponding leaves. The VIGS visual phenotype varied from maintained during silencing of actin 1 transcript expression to transient with incomplete penetration through affected tissue during silencing of phytoene desaturase expression. F-BMV RNA 3 was modified to allow greater accumulation of virus while minimizing virus pathogenicity. The modified vector C-BMVA/G (C for chimeric) was shown to be useful for VIGS. These BMV vectors will be useful for analysis of gene function in rice and maize for which no VIGS system is reported.

Additional keywords: functional genomics , Oryza sativa , RNA silencing , Zea mays .

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society