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Crop Biotech Update

Unlocking Planthoppers' Role in Rice Stripe Virus Reproduction

August 16, 2017

Research conducted by the Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has discovered how a severe rice virus reproduces inside the small brown planthopper, a major carrier of the virus.

Rice stripe virus (RSV) causes severe damages to rice crops yearly. Viral infections in animal hosts activate a pathway by which a type of enzyme, called c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), is signalled to respond. However, how exactly viruses regulate this pathway in vectors remains an open question.

To address this question, the team explored the effect of RSV on the JNK signalling pathway in the small brown planthopper, and found that the virus activates the pathway in various ways, but especially through the interaction of a planthopper protein called G protein pathway suppressor 2 (GPS2), and a viral protein called capsid protein. The research results also suggest that inhibiting the JNK pathway strengthens interactions with GPS2 or weakening the effects of TNF-a, which could be beneficial for rice agriculture.

For more details, read the CAS Newsroom.