European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 155, Issue 4, pp 1345–1352 | Cite as

Topical application of double stranded RNA molecules deriving from Sesbania mosaic virus (SeMV) CP and MP genes protects Sesbania plants against SeMV

  • Naga Charan Konakalla
  • Athanasios Kaldis
  • Hema MasarapuEmail author
  • Andreas E. VoloudakisEmail author


RNA interference (RNAi) is a sequence-specific, gene silencing mechanism, induced by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). It is a defense mechanism that protects eukaryotic cells from invasive nucleic acids such as viruses and transposons. In this study, we used a non-transgenic strategy in order to activate the antiviral RNAi mechanism against Sesbania mosaic virus (SeMV) in its natural host Sesbania grandiflora. DsRNA molecules from SeMV coat protein (CP) and movement protein (MP) (sobemovirus MP is considered a silencing suppressor) genes were produced by a two-step PCR approach followed by in vitro transcription and exogenously applied on sesbania plants along with SeMV. DsRNA for CP and MP conferred 53% and 64% resistance against SeMV, respectively based on the disease incidence data. The effect of dsRNA molecules against SeMV infection on sesbania plants was confirmed by direct antigen coating ELISA (DAC-ELISA). The strategy employed demonstrated the applicability of the RNA-based vaccination method, for the first time, to control sobemoviruses in a simple, highly specific and environmentally safe way.


Coat protein DAC-ELISA Double-stranded RNA Movement protein RNA interference RNA-based vaccination Silencing suppressor 



Ramamurthy Prakash and Vaishnavi Pidugu are acknowledged for maintaining the sesbania plants and assisting in the virus inoculations at the Department of Virology, Sri Venkateswara University, India.

Author contributions

HM and AV conceived and designed the study. NK and AK perfomed the exepriments. NK, AK, HM, and AV contributed to the manuscript writing.


This work was financially supported by an Erasmus Mundus action BRAVE scholarship sponsored by European Union (2013–2536) and N.T.R Videshi Vidyadarana scholarship from the State Government of Andhra Pradesh, India to Naga Charan Konakalla.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest exits in the submission of this manuscript.

Human studies and participants

There was no involvement of human participants and/or animals in the present study.


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Plant Breeding and BiometryAgricultural University of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of VirologySri Venkateswara UniversityTirupatiIndia

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