Genetic Transformation to Confer Resistance to Plant Virus Disease

  • Roger N. Beachy
  • S. G. Rogers
  • R. T. Fraley
Part of the Genetic Engineering book series (GEPM)


Cross-protection was first described more than fifty years ago in a paper by H. H. McKinney (1) reporting mosaic diseases in plants on the Canary Islands. In this paper he reported that when a tobacco plant was infected with a strain of TMV (tobacco mosaic virus) which caused mild symptons, the plant was unlikely to develop severe disease symptoms when superinfected or challenged with a highly virulent strain of TMV. After that first report, others used the approach to commercial advantage. By the early 1970’s it became widely accepted that tomato plants could be protected against severe strains of TMV and tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) if they were first infected with a mild strain of virus which would not cause symptoms (2). The approach has since been extended to use in citrus against citrus tristeza virus (3) and in papaya against papaya ringspot virus (4). The success of this approach has depended upon the identification and isolation of a virus strain which is avirulent, or attenuated, relative to the indigenous strain which causes the disease problem in the field. Many of the mild virus strains used are generated by nitrous acid mutation of the virulent strain. Alternately, a variant may be identified from the endemic virus population.


Transgenic Plant Coat Protein Capsid Protein Cucumber Mosaic Virus Transgenic Tobacco Plant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger N. Beachy
    • 1
  • S. G. Rogers
    • 2
  • R. T. Fraley
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Plant Molecular Biology GroupThe Monsanto CompanySt. LouisUSA

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