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Virus-derived gene expression and RNA interference vector for grapevine

: Kurth, E.G.; Peremyslov, V.V.; Prokhnevsky, A.I.; Kasschau, K.D.; Miller, M.; Carrington, J.C.; Dolja, V.V.


Journal of virology 86 (2012), Nr.11, S.6002-6009
ISSN: 0022-538X
ISSN: 1098-5514
Fraunhofer CMB ()

The improvement of the agricultural and wine-making qualities of the grapevine (Vitis vinifera) is hampered by adherence to traditional varieties, the recalcitrance of this plant to genetic modifications, and public resistance to genetically modified organism (GMO) technologies. To address these challenges, we developed an RNA virus-based vector for the introduction of desired traits into grapevine without heritable modifications to the genome. This vector expresses recombinant proteins in the phloem tissue that is involved in sugar transport throughout the plant, from leaves to roots to berries. Furthermore, the vector provides a powerful RNA interference (RNAi) capability of regulating the expression of endogenous genes via virus-induced gene-silencing (VIGS) technology. Additional advantages of this vector include superb genetic capacity and stability, as well as the swiftness of technology implementation. The most significant applications of the viral vector include functional genomics of the grapevine and disease control via RNAi-enabled vaccination against pathogens or invertebrate pests.