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Strong Resistance Against Rice grassy stunt virus Is Induced in Transgenic Rice Plants Expressing Double-Stranded RNA of the Viral Genes for Nucleocapsid or Movement Proteins as Targets for RNA Interference

May 2013 , Volume 103 , Number  5
Pages  513 - 519

Takumi Shimizu, Takumi Ogamino, Akihiro Hiraguri, Eiko Nakazono-Nagaoka, Tamaki Uehara-Ichiki, Masami Nakajima, Katsumi Akutsu, Toshihiro Omura, and Takahide Sasaya

First, second, third, fourth, fifth, eighth, and ninth authors: National Agricultural Research Center, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8666, Japan; and second, sixth, and seventh authors: Ibaraki University, Graduate School of Agriculture, Ami, Ibaraki 300-0393, Japan.

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Accepted for publication 20 November 2012.

Rice grassy stunt virus (RGSV), a member of the genus Tenuivirus, causes significant economic losses in rice production in South, Southeast, and East Asian countries. Growing resistant varieties is the most efficient method to control RGSV; however, suitable resistance genes have not yet been found in natural rice resources. One of the most promising methods to confer resistance against RGSV is the use of RNA interference (RNAi). It is important to target viral genes that play important roles in viral infection and proliferation at an early stage of viral replication. Our recent findings obtained from an RNAi experiment with Rice stripe virus (RSV), a tenuivirus, revealed that the genes for nucleocapsid and movement proteins were appropriate targets for RNAi to confer resistance against RSV. In this study, we transformed rice plants by introducing an RNAi construct of the RGSV genes for the nucelocapsid protein pC5 or movement protein pC6. All progenies from self-fertilized transgenic plants had strong resistance against RGSV infection and did not allow the proliferation of RGSV. Thus, our strategy to target genes for nucleocapsid and movement proteins for conferring viral resistance might be applicable to the plant viruses in the genus Tenuivirus.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society