The nonstructural Pns9 protein of Rice gall dwarf virus (RGDV) accumulates in viroplasm inclusions, which are structures that appear to play an important role in viral morphogenesis and are commonly found in host cells infected by viruses in the family Reoviridae. An RNA interference construct was designed to target the gene for Pns9 of RGDV, namely Trigger_G9. The resultant transgenic plants accumulated short interfering RNAs specific for the construct. All progenies from self-fertilized transgenic plants had strong and heritable resistance to RGDV infection and did not allow the propagation of RGDV. By contrast, our transgenic plants remained susceptible to Rice dwarf virus, another phytoreovirus. There were no significant changes in the morphology of our transgenic plants compared with non-inoculated wild-type rice plants, suggesting that genes critical for the growth of rice plants were unaffected. Our results demonstrate that the resistance to RGDV of our transgenic rice plants is not due to resistance to the vector insects but to specific inhibition of RGDV replication and that the designed trigger sequence is functioning normally. Thus, our strategy to target a gene for viroplasm matrix protein should be applicable to plant viruses that belong to the family Reoviridae.
- RNA interference
- Transgenic rice
- Viral resistance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology