Geminivirus-based vectors for gene silencing in Arabidopsis

Plant J. 2002 Apr;30(1):107-14. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.2002.01261.x.


Gene silencing, or RNA interference, is a powerful tool for elucidating gene function in Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster. The vast genetic, developmental and sequence information available for Arabidopsis thaliana makes this an attractive organism in which to develop reliable gene-silencing tools for the plant world. We have developed a system based on the bipartite geminivirus cabbage leaf curl virus (CbLCV) that allows silencing of endogenous genes singly or in combinations in Arabidopsis. Two vectors were tested: a gene-replacement vector derived from the A component; and an insertion vector derived from the B component. Extensive silencing was produced in new growth from the A component vectors, while only minimal silencing and symptoms were seen in the B component vector. Two endogenous genes were silenced simultaneously from the A component vector and silencing of the genes was maintained throughout new growth. Because the CbLCV vectors are DNA vectors they can be inoculated directly from plasmid DNA. Introduction of these vectors into intact plants bypasses transformation and extends the kinds of silencing studies that can be carried out in Arabidopsis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Geminiviridae / genetics*
  • Geminiviridae / growth & development
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Gene Silencing*
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics*
  • Transfection / methods