Biotech Updates

Nanobody-mediated Resistance to Grapevine Fanleaf Virus in Plants

October 11, 2017

Since their discovery, single-domain, antigen-binding fragments of camelid-derived heavy-chain-only antibodies, also known as nanobodies (Nbs), have been of interest as therapeutics against human diseases and pathogens, including viruses. However, their effect against phytopathogens remains limited.

Caroline Hemmer from the Universit√© de Strasbourg in France aimed to test these nanobodies on the grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV), the causal agent of fanleaf degenerative disease. The team identified a nanobody specific to GFLV that conferred strong resistance to GFLV upon expression in both tobacco and grapevine, the natural host of the virus. The resistance proved to be effective against a broad range of GFLV isolates. However, the nanobody was useless against GFLV's close relative, Arabis mosaic virus.

These findings could be vital in developing resistance to GFLV in grapevine, as well as the generation of new antiviral strategies in plants based on nanobodies.

For more information, read the article in Plant Biotechnology Journal.