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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Develop Virus-Resistant Tobacco Using Gene Technology

October 17, 2018

Tobacco plants can grow in areas of poor nutrition and extreme climatic conditions. Two popular varieties of tobacco, K-326 and C9-1, have good yield and quality but susceptible to viral diseases. To date, there are no virus resistant tobacco varieties available in Vietnam, especially for combating mosaic or spotted wilt virus. Thus, Vietnamese researchers conducted a study to develop virus resistant tobacco by applying biotechnology

Vietnamese scientists collaborated with the researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (Belgium) and succeeded in breeding tobacco for virus resistance using gene silencing or RNAi technology. The study designed three expression vectors carrying single gene (TMV, TSWV) or multiple genes (TMV, TSWV, CMV and TYLCV). The transformation efficiency of K326 and C9-1 was 18.33% and 11.6%, respectively. The T1 transgenic lines carry the homozygous transgene (TMV-K18-06; TMV-K18-10; TSWV-K03-01, TCYS-K18-01; TMV-C12-03, TSWV-C05- 02 and TCYS-C17-01), with equivalent quality standards as wild type K326 and C9-1. Greenhouse scale analysis and evaluation of transgenic tobacco lines were also carried out. 

The results provide the scientific basis for research on the application of RNAi technology in virus-resistant cultivars.

For more information, read the article in Vietnam's Office of Biotechnology website.