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Thakur, Nidhi and Upadhyay, Santosh Kumar and Verma, Praveen C and Chandrashekar, Krishnappa and Tuli, Rakesh and Singh, Pradhyumna K (2014) Enhanced Whitefly Resistance in Transgenic Tobacco Plants Expressing Double Stranded RNA of v-ATPase A Gene. PLOS ONE, 9 (3). e87235. ISSN 1932-6203

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Background Expression of double strand RNA (dsRNA) designed against important insect genes in transgenic plants have been shown to give protection against pests through RNA interference (RNAi), thus opening the way for a new generation of insect-resistant crops. We have earlier compared the efficacy of dsRNAs/siRNAs, against a number of target genes, for interference in growth of whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) upon oral feeding. The v-ATPase subunit A (v-ATPaseA) coding gene was identified as a crucial target. We now report the effectiveness of transgenic tobacco plants expressing siRNA to silence v-ATPaseA gene expression for the control of whitefly infestation. Methodology/Principal Findings Transgenic tobacco lines were developed for the expression of long dsRNA precursor to make siRNA and knock down the v-ATPaseA mRNA in whitefly. Molecular analysis and insecticidal properties of the transgenic plants established the formation of siRNA targeting the whitefly v-ATPaseA, in the leaves. The transcript level of v-ATPaseA in whiteflies was reduced up to 62% after feeding on the transgenic plants. Heavy infestation of whiteflies on the control plants caused significant loss of sugar content which led to the drooping of leaves. The transgenic plants did not show drooping effect. Conclusions/Significance Host plant derived pest resistance was achieved against whiteflies by genetic transformation of tobacco which generated siRNA against the whitefly v-ATPaseA gene. Transgenic tobacco lines expressing dsRNA of v-ATPaseA, delivered sufficient siRNA to whiteflies feeding on them, mounting a significant silencing response, leading to their mortality. The transcript level of the target gene was reduced in whiteflies feeding on transgenic plants. The strategy can be taken up for genetic engineering of plants to control whiteflies in field crops.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Double stranded RNA",Genetically modified plants, Insects,Leaves,Nicotiana,Pest control, RNA interference
Subjects: Agri-Biotechnology
Depositing User: Dr. Author @NABI
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2015 07:08
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2015 07:08
URI: http://nabi.sciencecentral.in/id/eprint/28

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