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Crop Biotech Update

CIP Develops Marker-free PLRV Resistant Potato

August 24, 2016

Potato leaf roll virus (PLRV) is one of the most prevalent pathogens of potato, causing serious economic yield losses globally. Producers control PLRV by using certified seeds and by applying insecticides. However, these practices are costly and such products are not always available to small-scale farmers. Thus, scientists from the International Potato Center (CIP) developed marker-free transgenic potato plants with intense resistance to PLRV.

The researchers created an inverted repeat construct corresponding to a portion of the PLRV coat protein gene under the control of a constitutive promoter. Then they transferred it into a transformation vector with Cre-loxP system to cut the nptII antibiotic resistance marker gene. The team generated a total of 58 transgenic events, with seven events showing high resistance. Of the seven transgenic events, four events showed extremely high resistance, a degree which has not been reported in previous studies. Further analysis showed the correlation of the PLRV silencing RNA accumulation and the level of resistance to PLRV.

Read the research article in Transgenic Research.