Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CHARACTERIZATION AND ENHANCEMENT OF PLANT RESISTANCE TO WATER-DEFICIT AND THERMAL STRESSES

Location: Plant Stress and Germplasm Development Research

Title: Rapid Determination of Gene Function by Virus-induced Gene Silencing in Wheat and Barley

Authors
item Cakir, Cahid
item Scofield, Steven
item Gillespie, Megan -

Submitted to: Crop Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 2, 2009
Publication Date: February 8, 2010
Citation: Cakir, C., Scofield, S.R., Gillespie, M.E. 2010. Rapid determination of gene function by virus-induced gene silencing in wheat and barley. Crop Science. 50(2, Suppl. S):S77-S84.

Interpretive Summary: This study describes the rapid discovering and determining of genes in cereals by using Virus Induced Gene Silencing (Barley Stripe Mosaic Virus, BSMV). The identification of genes responsible for particular traits is made very difficult by the very large size and complexity of their genomes and the difficulty with which these cereals, especially polyploidy wheat, can be genetically transformed. This study also describes the characteristics of the BSMV-VIGS system, relates examples of its application for funcitonal genomics in wheat and barley, and discusses the strenghts and weaknesses of this approach and overcomes many of these obstacles and promises to greatly facilitate the assessment of gene function.

Technical Abstract: The cereal crops are essential components to the human and animal food supply. Solutions to many of the problems challenging cereal production will require identification of genes responsible for particular traits. Unfortunately, the process of identifying gene function is very slow and complex in crop plants. In wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), this process is made very difficult by the very large size and complexity of their genomes and the difficulty with which these crops can be genetically transformed. Additionally, the polyploidy of wheat greatly complicates any approach based on mutational analysis because functional, homeologous genes often mask genetic mutations. Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is an important new tool that overcomes many of these obstacles and promises to greatly facilitate the assessment of gene function. A VIGS system bases on barley stripe mosaic virus (BSMV) has recetly been developed for use in wheat and barley. The BSMVVIGS system allows researchers to switch-off or "knockdown" the expression of chosen genes so that the gene's function may be inferred based on teh knockout phenotypes. This article describes the characteristics of the BSMV-VIGS system, relates examples of its application for functional genomics in wheat and barley, and discusses the strenghts and weaknesses of this approach.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page