Technical Advance. Tobacco rattle virus as a vector for analysis of gene function by silencing

Plant J. 2001 Jan;25(2):237-45. doi: 10.1046/j.0960-7412.2000.00942.x.


Virus vectors carrying host-derived sequence inserts induce silencing of the corresponding genes in infected plants. This virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is a manifestation of an RNA-mediated defence mechanism that is related to post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) in transgenic plants. Here we describe an infectious cDNA clone of tobacco rattle virus (TRV) that has been modified to facilitate insertion of non-viral sequence and subsequent infection to plants. We show that this vector mediates VIGS of endogenous genes in the absence of virus-induced symptoms. Unlike other RNA virus vectors that have been used previously for VIGS, the TRV construct is able to target host RNAs in the growing points of plants. These features indicate that the TRV vector will have wide application for gene discovery in plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Genetic Vectors*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plant Viruses / genetics*
  • RNA Viruses / genetics*


  • DNA, Complementary

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF314165