CRISPR tecnology to confer turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) resistance in Brassica rapa

Guido Donati 30 Ott 2023

In addressing the issue of plant viruses and their impact on crops, the article by Ye-Rin Lee and colleagues, published in Horticulture Research in June 2023, provides an in-depth look at how CRISPR/Cas9 technology can be used to confer resistance to Turnip Mosaic Virus (TuMV) in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa).

The article begins with an overview of the global challenge of food security, emphasizing the need to double food production in the coming years to meet the growing demand. In this context, viral infections represent a significant threat, with annual yield losses of 10-15% due to these diseases in crops worldwide. Scientific research, therefore, focuses on improving plant resistance to viruses with the goal of developing more resilient crop varieties.

One of the traditional challenges in this field has been the transmission of resistance genes from wild cultivated plants to crops, a process often laborious and slow. Here, CRISPR/Cas9 technology emerges as an innovative solution. This genetic editing system, inspired by bacterial immunity, has revolutionized the field of plant biology for its cost-effectiveness, simplicity, and speed.

The article explains how Potyviridae, a family of plant RNA viruses, are responsible for significant crop damage. In particular, TuMV is a member of this family and poses a serious threat to Chinese cabbage. This virus, like many others, relies on host genes to complete its life cycle, and this is where the eIF(iso)4E gene comes into play.

Previous research has shown that modifying eIF(iso)4E can confer resistance to similar viruses, such as TuMV. The article cites examples of plants like Arabidopsis, cucumber, rice, and tomatoes that have been made resistant to viruses through genetic editing. The central part of the article is dedicated to the methodology used in the study. It describes the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation process, DNA extraction, PCR analysis, and deep sequencing to confirm the genetic modifications induced by CRISPR/Cas9. This section also explains how TuMV- resistant plants were created and how resistance was assessed through viral inoculation tests.

The article underscores the key role of eIF(iso)4E in TuMV resistance and how the efficiency of genetic modifications is closely correlated with resistance. These findings are supported by experimental evidence showing that modified plants exhibit remarkable resistance to the virus, while wild plants are susceptible to severe symptoms.

In the final discussion, the article returns to the importance of food security and how food production needs to increase to meet global demands. Research on virus-resistant crops represents a promising approach to address these challenges. CRISPR/Cas9 technology emerges as a preferable alternative to transgenic crops, thanks to its ability to create genetically modified crops that can be classified as non- transgenic.

Ultimately, this article highlights the potential of CRISPR/Cas9 technology in inducing resistance to plant viruses, offering new horizons in creating virus-resistant crops and addressing the growing global demand for food.

CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing to confer turnip mosaic virus (TuMV) resistance in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa)

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Scienzaonline con sottotitolo Sciencenew  - Periodico
Autorizzazioni del Tribunale di Roma – diffusioni:
telematica quotidiana 229/2006 del 08/06/2006
mensile per mezzo stampa 293/2003 del 07/07/2003
Scienceonline, Autorizzazione del Tribunale di Roma 228/2006 del 29/05/06
Pubblicato a Roma – Via A. De Viti de Marco, 50 – Direttore Responsabile Guido Donati

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