Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 701–711

Virus Induced Gene Silencing of a DEFICIENS Ortholog in Nicotiana Benthamiana

Authors

  • Yule Liu
    • Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyYale University
  • Naomi Nakayama
    • Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyYale University
  • Michael Schiff
    • Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyYale University
  • Amy Litt
    • Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyYale University
  • Vivian F. Irish
    • Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyYale University
  • S.P. Dinesh-Kumar
    • Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental BiologyYale University
Article

DOI: 10.1023/B:PLAN.0000040899.53378.83

Cite this article as:
Liu, Y., Nakayama, N., Schiff, M. et al. Plant Mol Biol (2004) 54: 701. doi:10.1023/B:PLAN.0000040899.53378.83

Abstract

Traditionally, developmental studies in plant biology have suffered from the lack of a convenient means to study gene function in non-model plant species. Here we show that virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is an effective new tool to study the function of orthologs of floral homeotic genes such as DEFICIENS(DEF) in non-model systems. We used a tobacco rattle virus (TRV)-based VIGS approach to study the function of the Nicotiana benthamiana DEFortholog (NbDEF). Silencing of NbDEFin N. benthamianausing TRV-VIGS was similar to that of Antirrhinum defand Arabidopsis ap3mutants and caused transformation of petals into sepals and stamens into carpels. Molecular analysis of the NbDEF-silenced plants revealed a dramatic reduction of the levels of NbDEFmRNA and protein in flowers. NbDEFsilencing was specific and has no effect on the mRNA levels of NbTM6, the closest paralog of NbDEF. A dramatic reduction of the levels of N. benthamiana GLOBOSA(NbGLO) mRNA and protein was also observed in flowers of NbDEF-silenced plants, suggesting that cross-regulation of this GLO-like gene by NbDEF. Taken together, our results suggest that NbDEF is a functional homolog of Antirrhinum DEF. Our results are significant in that they show that TRV efficiently induces gene silencing in young and differentiating flowers and that VIGS is a promising new tool for analyses of developmental gene function in non-model organisms.

AP3/DEF Arabidopsis Nicotiana benthamiana PI/GLO TRV VIGS

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004