RNAi-directed down-regulation of RSV results in increased resistance in rice (Oryza sativa L.)
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- Zhou, Y., Yuan, Y., Yuan, F. et al. Biotechnol Lett (2012) 34: 965. doi:10.1007/s10529-012-0848-0
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Rice stripe disease (RSD), caused by rice stripe virus (RSV), is a serious disease in temperate rice-growing areas. We have created an RNAi construct containing coat protein gene (CP) and disease specific protein gene (SP) sequences from RSV. The RNAi construct was transformed into two susceptible japonica varieties, Suyunuo and Guanglingxiangjing, to develop resistance against RSD. The homozygous progeny of rice plants in the T5 and T7 generations containing RNAi constructs, after self-fertilization were strongly resistant to viral infection. RT-PCR indicated that viral replication of SP and CP in the transgenic plants was significantly inhibited. There were no obvious morphological or developmental differences between the transgenic and wild-type plants from seedling stage to maturity. The excellent agronomic traits of these two varieties, such as high yield and good quality were maintained. Suppression of virus genes using RNAi is therefore a practical and effective strategy for controlling viral infection in crops.