RNA-based vaccination of Bhut Jolokia pepper (Capsicum chinense Jacq.) against cucumber mosaic virus
Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) causes great losses in Bhut Jolokia pepper (Capsicum chinense Jacq.) plantations in Assam, India. To investigate possible means to induce plant resistance against this virus, the crude extract of bacterially-expressed double-stranded (ds) RNA, derived from CMV-2b gene (dsRNA_CMV-2b), was exogenously applied along with CMV-G strain onto Bhut Jolokia plants. In this ‘RNA-vaccination’ bioassay, disease incidence, assessed by testing the plants at 21 days post inoculation by DAS-ELISA, ranged from 0 to 29% in case of dsRNA-treated plants, and from 55 to 92% when only CMV was applied. CMV-infected pepper plants became severely stunted, having dull light green foliage with leathery appearance, whereas plants receiving dsRNA_CMV-2b exhibited milder symptoms or remained healthy. The results obtained suggest that this non-transgenic approach has a considerable effect in protecting pepper against CMV.
KeywordsCMV CMV-2b Doubled stranded RNA ELISA RNA vaccine RNAi
Munmi Borah was supported by a fellowship from European Commission (Erasmus Mundus BRAVE, Grant 2013-2536). Mr Anastasios Katsileros is acknowledged for his assistance in the statistical analysis of the data with JMP. The dsRNA molecules were produced in the frame of a bilateral project between Greece and China (‘sRNAvac’, Grant 12CHN116) funded by the General Secretariat for Research and Technology (GSRT) in Greece.
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