1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The goal of the Cotton Productivity Enhancement Program is to identify sources of resistance to Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCuV) and transfer them into adapted lines. This program will investigate various possibilities for control including transgenic methods to combat the virus. The program addresses the urgent need to identify alternate sources of resistance to CLCuV, currently a major disease of cotton in Pakistan, to increase U.S. preparedness should CLCuV become established in the U.S.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
To preserve the effectiveness of resistant cotton lines, it is essential to be able to identify, characterize and monitor the different strains of Cotton Leaf Curl Virus (CLCuV). New tools (predominately based on molecular biology approaches) will be needed to determine the range of different viral strains, track their changes and study how these changes affect virulence. Assessing the range of CLCuV strains, rates of change, and the effect on virulence will require the expertise of a virologist(s) well versed in the area of molecular biology. In addition, resistant transgenic plants developed using ribonucleic acid (RNAi) technologies need to be advanced multiple generations and tested for suitable expression and stability of the RNAi constructs. This will be done in the model tomato system before transferring into cotton.
The funding for this project originates from project 6402-21310-003-22R where additional details can also be found. This project deals with trying to control cotton leaf curl virus (CLCuV) using transgenic methods. Tomato is used as a model system due to the ease of transforming tomato and downstream testing of transgenic plants for resistance.
Twelve DNA constructs for tomato transformation were developed and transferred into the appropriate vector for plant transformation. These constructs were then sent to the Danforth Center for transformation. The constructs come basically in two forms either to directly control CLCuV or white fly which acts as a vector for plant to plant transfer. Transformed plants and subsequent seeds will be transferred to the University of Arizona and eventually Pakistan for within country testing where CLCuV is a major problem for cotton production.