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Expression of short hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting AC2 gene of Mungbean yellow mosaic India virus (MYMIV) reduces the viral titre in soybean

Ramesh, Shunmugiah V., Shivakumar, Maranna, Praveen, Shelly, Chouhan, Bhagat S., Chand, Suresh
3 Biotech 2019 v.9 no.9 pp. 334
Mungbean yellow mosaic India virus, RNA interference, gene dosage, genes, genetic variation, genetically modified organisms, inoculum, leaves, loci, open reading frames, plant diseases and disorders, plant viruses, small interfering RNA, soybeans, viral load, viruses
Mungbean yellow mosaic India virus (MYMIV) belonging to the family Geminiviridae and the genus Begomovirus is a severe pathogen of tropical legumes including soybean. The absence of genetically mapped loci conferring resistance together with the genetic diversity of begomoviruses infecting soybean warrants the utilization of RNA interference (RNAi) technology to develop virus resistance. However, viral suppressors of RNAi (VSRs) reduce the effectiveness of RNA silencing. Here, we report the effectiveness of Agrobacterium-mediated transient expression of shRNA, targeting a conserved region of AC2 ORF (a VSR) of MYMIV, in conferring virus resistance in soybean. Transient expression of shRNA showed progressive reduction of the viral titre estimated by the MYMIV-derived AC2 gene copy numbers from the initial inoculum by approximately 80-fold 20 days post-application. In addition, the newly emerging leaves exhibited symptom recovery. Thus, this study proves that AC2 of MYMIV is a potent target gene for obtaining RNAi-mediated virus resistance in soybean. Agro-infiltration-based delivery of shRNA was an efficient means of gene silencing and could pave way for the development of transgenic virus-resistant soybean genotype.