A geminivirus-induced gene silencing system for gene function validation in cassava

Abstract

We have constructed an African cassava mosaic virus (ACMV) based gene-silencing vector as a reverse genetics tool for gene function analysis in cassava. The vector carrying a fragment from the Nicotiana tabacumsulfur gene (su), encoding one unit of the chloroplast enzyme magnesium chelatase, was used to induce the silencing of the cassava orthologous gene resulting in yellow–white spots characteristic of the inhibition of su expression. This result suggests that well developed sequence databases from model plants like Arabidopsis thaliana, Nicotiana benthamiana, N. tabacum, Lycopersicon esculentum and others could be used as a major source of information and sequences for functional genomics in cassava. Furthermore, a fragment of the cassava CYP79D2endogenous gene, sharing 89% homology with CYP79D1endogenous gene was inserted into the ACMV vector. The resultant vector was inducing the down regulation of the expression of these two genes which catalyze the first-dedicated step in the synthesis of linamarin, the major cyanogenic glycoside in cassava. At 21 days post-inoculation (dpi), a 76% reduction of linamarin content was observed in silenced leaves. Using transgenic plants expressing antisense RNA of CYP79D1and CYP79D2, Siritunga and Sayre (2003) obtained several lines with a reduction level varying from 60% to 94%. This result provides the first example of direct comparison of the efficiency of a virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) system and the transgenic approach for suppression of a biosynthetic pathway. The ACMV VIGS system will certainly be a complement and in some cases an alternative to the transgenic approach, for gene discovery and gene function analysis in cassava.

DOI: 10.1007/s11103-004-0161-y

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@article{Fofana2004AGG, title={A geminivirus-induced gene silencing system for gene function validation in cassava}, author={Ismael Ben F Fofana and Abdourahamane Sangar{\'e} and Ray Collier and Christopher G. Taylor and Claude M. Fauquet}, journal={Plant Molecular Biology}, year={2004}, volume={56}, pages={613-624} }