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RNAi-derived transgenic resistance to Mungbean yellow mosaic India virus in cowpea.

RNAi-derived transgenic resistance to Mungbean yellow mosaic India virus in cowpea.
Author Information (click to view)

Kumar S, Tanti B, Patil BL, Mukherjee SK, Sahoo L,


Kumar S, Tanti B, Patil BL, Mukherjee SK, Sahoo L, (click to view)

Kumar S, Tanti B, Patil BL, Mukherjee SK, Sahoo L,

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PloS one 2017 10 2712(10) e0186786 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0186786
Abstract

Cowpea is an important grain legume crop of Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. Leaf curl and golden mosaic diseases caused by Mungbean yellow mosaic India virus (MYMIV) have emerged as most devastating viral diseases of cowpea in Southeast Asia. In this study, we employed RNA interference (RNAi) strategy to control cowpea-infecting MYMIV. For this, we generated transgenic cowpea plants harbouring three different intron hairpin RNAi constructs, containing the AC2, AC4 and fusion of AC2 and AC4 (AC2+AC4) of seven cowpea-infecting begomoviruses. The T0 and T1 transgenic cowpea lines of all the three constructs accumulated transgene-specific siRNAs. Transgenic plants were further assayed up to T1 generations, for resistance to MYMIV using agro-infectious clones. Nearly 100% resistance against MYMIV infection was observed in transgenic lines, expressing AC2-hp and AC2+AC4-hp RNA, when compared with untransformed controls and plants transformed with empty vectors, which developed severe viral disease symptoms within 3 weeks. The AC4-hp RNA expressing lines displayed appearance of milder symptoms after 5 weeks of MYMIV-inoculation. Northern blots revealed a positive correlation between the level of transgene-specific siRNAs accumulation and virus resistance. The MYMIV-resistant transgenic lines accumulated nearly zero or very low titres of viral DNA. The transgenic cowpea plants had normal phenotype with no yield penalty in greenhouse conditions. This is the first demonstration of RNAi-derived resistance to MYMIV in cowpea.

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