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Crop Biotech Update

Virus Tolerant Citrus Developed Using a Combination of Biotech Tools

February 19, 2020

Scientists from the University of California and team successfully conferred virus tolerance to citrus using a combination of traditional and modern biotechnological techniques. The results are reported in Transgenic Research.

One of the problems of citrus growers is citrus psorosis virus (CPsV). Citrus lack naturally occurring resistance to this virus, and thus scientists from the University of California and team assembled citrus plants by grafting, combining a non-transgenic Sweet Orange as scion, CPsV-resistant transgenic Sweet Orange lines expressing intron-hairpin (ihp) RNA derived from the viral coat protein (ihpCP) as interstock, and a non-transgenic citrus as rootstock. Results showed that ihpCP-transcripts translocate through the graft from interstock to scion, triggering the silencing of coat protein mRNA target. Further analysis showed that expression of ihpCP in the interstock provides resistance against CPsV in the interstock, and different levels of protection in the non-tg scion, depending on the virus delivery site.

Read more findings in Transgenic Research.

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