Submitted to: Maydica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2012
Publication Date: December 1, 2012
Citation: Benavente, L., Ding, X., Redinbaugh, M.G., Nelson, R., Balint Kurti, P.J. 2012. Virus-induced gene silencing in diverse maize lines using the Brome Mosaic virus-based silencing vector. Maydica. 57(3/4):206-214. Interpretive Summary: Virus-induced gene silencing (or VIGS) is a technique that involves using a plant virus for reducing the expression of specific genes. VIGS is an important technique for studying gene function. By observing what happens when genes are turned off we can gain important clues as to their normal function. While VIGS has been a very useful tool in plants such as tobacco, tomato, cotton and Arabidopsis, it has not been widely used in maize (corn) as a robust and relatively rapid VIGS system does not exist for maize. Here we report some progress towards creating such a system. We have identified a set of six lines compatible with a novel VIGS technique induced by the Brome mosaic virus (BMV). We also provide proof that the expression of specific targeted genes are indeed reduced by about 50%.
Technical Abstract: Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is a widely used tool for gene function studies in many plant species, though its use in monocots has been limited. Using a Brome mosaic virus (BMV) vector designed to silence the maize phytoene desaturase gene, a genetically diverse set of maize inbred lines was screened for their ability to display gene silencing after inoculation of seeds through a vascular puncture inoculation technique. In addition to Va35, which had been previously shown to support silencing, maize lines NC300, Ki11, Oh7b, M162W and CML52 displayed significant visible bleaching when challenged with the BMV-PDS construct which targets the Phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene. PDS mRNA expression was decreased to 20-50% of wild type levels in these plants.