, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 198-206
Date: 27 Oct 2007

Silencing VP28 Gene of White Spot Syndrome Virus of Shrimp by Bacterially Expressed dsRNA

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An in vivo expression system to produce large amounts of virus-derived dsRNAs in bacteria to provide a practical control of white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) in shrimp was developed. The bacterially synthesized dsRNA specific to VP28 gene of WSSV promoted gene-specific interference with the WSSV infection in shrimp. Virus infectivity was significantly reduced in WSSV-challenged shrimp injected with VP28-dsRNA and 100% survival was recorded. The inhibition of the expression of WSSV VP28 gene in experimentally challenged animals by VP28-dsRNA was confirmed by RT-PCR and Western blot analyses. Furthermore, we have demonstrated the efficacy of bacterially expressed VP28-dsRNA to silence VP28 gene expression in SISK cell line transfected with eukaryotic expression vector (pcDNA3.1) inserted with VP28 gene of WSSV. The expression level of VP28 gene in SISK cells was determined by fluorescent microscopy and ELISA. The results showed that the expression was significantly reduced in cells transfected with VP28dsRNA, whereas the cells transected with pcDNA-VP28 alone showed higher expression. The in vivo production of dsRNA using prokaryotic expression system could be an alternative to in vitro method for large-scale production of dsRNA corresponding to VP28 gene of WSSV for practical application to control the WSSV in shrimp farming.